From 1st – 3rd August 2017, EQUALITY for Peace and Democracy hosted a three-day quarterly meeting in Kabul with PWN coordinators and their assistants from 15 provinces of Afghanistan. Over the course of three days, the participants exchange ideas, share experiences and discuss best practices and challenges in organizing their monthly meetings and advocacy activities.
The first day of the event started with a speech delivered by Mr. Wajid Khan, EPD’s Executive Director. He stated that advocacy is one of the main approaches through which the networks can bring changes for ensuring women’s peace and security. He also encouraged the coordinators to expand their networks and building joint ventures with other local entities which work for gender equality and women’s rights.
The program included a workshop on “Advocacy” conducted by Mr. Maseehullah Farahmand, EPD’s Program Officer, during which the coordinators learnt how to develop advocacy strategy to address problems that women are facing at the grass-root level. Grassroots advocacy is crucial as public support is necessary to advocate for change at the policy-making level. In order to have public support, it is necessary that local communities themselves raise awareness about the issues, challenges and opportunities and mobilize people for demanding change.
During this program the coordinator practiced developing advocacy strategy to utilize the available opportunities for removing the problems confronted by women. The strategies were prepared to deal with the following issues:
Harassment at work place
Women police harassment
Lack of women representation at governmental offices
Internally displaced women’s problem
Self-immolation as a result of VAW
Using these advocacy strategies, PWNs determine their own issues identify solutions, and advocate for those solutions with relevant stakeholders and officials.