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Women say their role in peace process is symbolic

Women say their role in peace process is symbolic

Feb 18, 2018 - 09:15

KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of female activists say they are worried about women’s symbolic role in the peace process and their absence from decision making in major programs of national importance.

The activists echoed their concern at a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chaired by deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, a number of active women, government officials and foreign ambassadors participated in the event titled “Women and Peace Process, Achievements and Challenges” to be discussed on the sidelines of the second Kabul Process summit.

Fawzia Kofi, a lawmaker from northeastern Badakhshan province said women should not be victimized for the sake of peace and instead should be given decision making powers in major programs.

Habiba Sorabi, deputy head of the High Peace Council (HPC), said one of the most imported challenges for women in the peace body was that their voice was not properly heard. About 12 women are part HPC provincial committees.

Sorabi said sometimes decisions were taken within the HPC without women’s views.

“Bringing peace is not easy, we have to use all our resources and play a decisive role in the peace process,” said Rula Ghani, the First Lady, said in a video message to the meeting.

“Women suffered from the decades of war, so their role is also significant in peace and I’m very happy that women’s participation in the peace process is increasing day by day,” she added.

Tadamichi Yamamoto, UNAMA deputy special representative for Afghanistan, also termed women’s role as important in the peace process.

He stressed "the peace process without women's presence or giving them a symbolic role in this regard is unjust. "We must strive to challenge the opposition with participation of women in the peace process and to force them to accept the equal status of men and women."

He said women should join the negotiation table and should be part of every decision. “Peace process without women’s presence or their symbolic presence is unjust; we must strive to challenge the opposition with participation of women.”