EQUALITY for Peace and Democracy (EPD) launched a critical report on women, peace and security in Afghanistan in both Dari and English at two separate events in the Park Star Hotel and EU Delegation on Wednesday the 3rd of September in Kabul. The paper represents the first publication in EPD’s Women’s Perspectives Series and receives its representativeness from the 9 consultations conducted with 74 women from 20 provinces in late 2013. It has been published in English, Dari and Pashto.
The first event was attended by stakeholders, students, and media representatives such as TOLOnews, and hosted a panel with Nargis Nehan (executive director of EPD), Shukria Barkzai (MP for Kabul province), Mahbooba Seraj (civil society activist and women’s rights advocate), and Farida Kakar (PWN provincial coordinator in Nangarhar), while the second event was attended by international donors, stakeholders and decision-makers.
As the transition phase is underway and the NATO exit is looming, women’s progress in the areas of peace and security is insecure and volatile. This project therefore revisits the Peace Process Roadmap to 2015 from the High Peace Council as a means of looking back in order to determine how to move forward as Afghanistan assumes its post-NATO transition.
EPD’s consultations found that participants engaged positively with the challenging issues articulated in the Peace Process Roadmap 2015, but their contributions also highlighted the disconnect between the political process and the needs of communities. Since women’s concerns and perspectives were excluded from the formulation of the Roadmap 2015, this project utilized the consultations to outline the ways that women’s voices can be heard and taken into account.
The overall trend of the consultations suggests that there is an urgent need to enhance the inclusion of women to achieve sustainable peace in Afghanistan. EPD therefore formulated a sector-specific list of recommendations to urge political, international and civil society actors to focus on mechanisms that allow for a greater grassroots contribution to the peace process.