One of the key aims of EQUALITY for Peace and Development (EPD) is that Afghan women gain an awareness about rights and responsibilities as citizens, which allows them contribute to peace and equity in Afghanistan. Since elections are a crucial first step towards democracy, EPD initiated a North-South Dialogue titled “Women and Elections”, where 80 women from 23 provinces participated. These women raised their concerns with regards to the challenges they face during the election cycle and outlined their suggestions to the government of Afghanistan, civil society and the ‘international community in a press conference.
EPD also organized a training for and consultation with women from the southern region of Afghanistan. The aim was to discuss and understand the views of women from the south with respect to elections and the peace process as whole. The findings of these sessions were included in a policy paper and has been published after the Presidential elections, which will look at the challenges, achievements, and lessons learned.
After completion of these activities, EPD organized a two-day national conference on “Women and Elections”. The conference provided a platform for provincial women to interact with women leaders, policy-makers and presidential candidates as well as present their recommendations for increasing women’s participation in the elections to all stakeholders. In addition, the policy paper ensured that key policy-makers were made aware of the dialog and advocacy activities and the recommendations made by the participations.