From 21st to 24th May, 2017, EPD with financial support of open society Afghanistan held an event on “Peace Exchange: Pak-Afghan Women’s Bridge for Peace” to facilitate interaction among Pakistan and Afghanistan peace activist and take steps to eliminate violent extremism (VE) and radicalization. The event invited around 70 participants including peace activists from Afghanistan and Pakistan, civil society, high peace council, provincial council and representatives of national and international institutions. Over the course of three days, the participants actively took part in panel sessions, group discussion and round table to bring up views and ideas and give opportunity to the women from both of the countries to interact and share experience.
The event was inaugurated by a speech delivered by Mr. Wajid Khan; executive director of EPD. He welcomed the participants and stated “It is very important to try to understand each other and be responsive to each other’s concerns and needs. There are common grounds shared by both of the nations and can be met only through a comprehensive peace network”.
During first day three panels were facilitated by participation of prominent panelists to discuss about women’s participation in Peace building in national, regional and international level and impact of VE on women in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Second day of Peace Exchange covered presentations on research and activities that various civil society organizations have conducted regarding countering violent extremism in Afghanistan as well as a round table on women’s response to radicalization and preventing violent extremism.
EPD along with its partner; Aware Girls also conducted a research which was presented on third day of the event. The study was carried out to understand impact of radicalization and violent extremism on women, in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and strategies women use to cope with, and counter, radicalization. Ms. Ruqaia Tabasum, research manager at EPD presented Part II of the research which was main findings of the analyzed data in Afghanistan. Similarly, Ms. Samina Afridi research manager at Aware Girls delivered the presentation on Part I of the report elaborating the finding of the collected data in Pakistan. Later on, a group discussion was held where the peace activists from both of the networks shared views and experience of women and challenges they face in peace building.
For more details please refer to our Facebook page and in order to access to the research report please click on the following link: