Women’s Only Demand from Peace is not Just an End to War

در گرماگرم گفت‌وگوها در مورد مذاکرات صلح با طالبان و تعیین‌شدن هیاتی متشکل از زنان و مردان برای آن، افزون بر مشکلات امنیتی، موضوعی که همواره به عنوان یکی از نگرانی‌های زنان، از نتیجه‌ی روند صلح، از آن یاد شده، دست‌کم گرفته‌شدن حقوق و دست‌آوردهای آنان است. برخی از فعالان حقوق زن در کندز می‌گویند، اگر در مذاکرات صلح، به حقوق زنان اهمیت داده نشود، این صلح از نگاه آنان کامل نخواهد بود. حبیبه گلستانی، یکی از فعالان حقوق زن در کندز در گفت‌وگویی با شبکه‌ی جامعه‌ی مدنی و حقوق بشر(ازاین به بعد، "شبکه") می‌گوید، افزون بر مشکلات امنیتی، کمبود فرصت‌های شغلی و نبود مصونیت کاری، از جمله  مشکلاتی است که زنان در این ولایت انتظار دارند، با برقرار شدن صلح، برطرف شود«ریاست امور زنان، تنها پست دولتی در کندز است که به یک زن داده شده که آن هم به صورت نمادین است. در سوی دیگر پست معاونت اجتماعی ولایت کندز از چند سال به این سو به دست یک مرد است، در حالی که تعداد قابل توجهی از زنان در کندز شرایط انتخاب شدن برای این پست را دارند، اما به دلیل تهدیدها، جرات کاندید شدن را ندارند.»دراین صورت، به نظر شما حضور زنان در ادارات پر رنگ نیست؟                                                                                                                                گلستانی: وقتی زنان در بخش‌های کلیدی و تصمیم‌گیرنده نباشند و صلاحیتی که به یک مرد داده می‌شود، به آنان داده نشود، آنان فقط برای امرار معاش کار می‌کنند و نمی‌توان آن را حضو پر…

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Reflection of Voices on Women and Peace; An Attempt to Present the Narratives of Afghan Women

Since the beginning of the peace process in the country, one of the main concerns has been the uncertainty of the status of women's rights in this process. The Civil Society and Human Rights Network has sought to create a fairly comprehensive account of the country's women in a program entitled "Women and Peace: Between Hope and Fear," which includes 100 interviews and 365 messages from citizens across the country. Sayed Hussain Anosh, executive director of the Civil Society and Human Rights Network, said that their motivation for designing such a program was to achieve the best possible way to build a comprehensive narrative of Afghan women. "With the start of the peace talks, the question that came to our mind was how to create a narrative for the meaningful presence of women in the peace process. Nowadays, women do not usually write to reflect on their narratives. Nevertheless, this initiative brought them together to express their demands, and concerns on the peace talks through writing, and speeches” Anosh said. CSHRN: What is the purpose of the Women and Peace initiative? Anosh: The idea was to highlight the voices of Afghan women on the Afghan peace process. We attempted to strengthen the culture of dialogue to move forward to producing content, text, and narratives. Therefore, I view 100 interviews and 365 peace messages gathered and reached out widely to the public helped raise public awareness on the important role of women and strengthened their position in peace and conflict prevention. CSHRN: How was effective the program? Anosh: During the project, we were receiving hundreds of messages every day, people were expressing their interest to send us their messages and voices for circulation through CSHRN’s social media platforms. Due to a high number of messages, we could not respond…

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Women Should not be Forced to Endorse Restrictions

A number of civil society activists believe that ignoring women's rights in peace negotiations may create a situation in which women's full access to their rights will be prevented.In an interview with the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (hereafter referred to as “Network”), Waseq Hussaini said that if female members of the government's negotiating team in peace talks do not mention the protection of women's rights as one of their red lines, Afghan they will face problems in the future. He added that Women make up half of the country's population, and their rights should be the red line in the negotiations. Otherwise, women will be forced to be satisfied with the minimum rights.Network: Do you think that female members of the government's negotiating team have the ability to defend women's rights?Hussaini: Although the team members are experienced and hardworking; but the presence of the young generation in the team is low.If the youth are also included in the Afghan peace negotiation team, women's rights would be better protected as youth act more actively than their old figures.Network: How does the presence of women in peace talks affect the quality of this process?Hussaini: Women's participation is influential because the most sensitive issue in the Taliban ideology is the issue of women. If the Taliban show flexibility in this matter and accept the presence of women in society, they will be flexible in other matters as well.Network: Do you think there has been a change in the Taliban's view of women?Hussaini: The Taliban believe in Islam with their strict interpretation and the liberal and democratic position of women is not acceptable to them. But this group has to accept some issues in order to attract the attention of the international community. However, the Taliban's overall view of women…

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Men and Women Should Be Considered Equal in the Peace Talks

A number of civil society activists believe that the issue of equality between men and women should be discussed comprehensively in peace talks. Otherwise, after the peace agreement, women will face many problems regarding their rights, including decision-making and participation in government.In an interview with the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (hereafter referred to as “Network”), Vahidullah Qaderi said that the government's negotiating team should discuss the issue of equality between men and women in a comprehensive and explicit manner. I do not think we can achieve peace if the Taliban do not agree on equality between men and women in the next government. Political peace may prevail. But the social peace that complements political peace will be undermined and citizens, especially women, will not be able to defend their rights.Network: Given the history of the Taliban, do you think that the negotiations will reach a positive outcome?Qaderi: As I mentioned, the government must consider the principle of equal rights for men and women in peace negotiations with the Taliban. As a result of the peace agreement, a system must be created that is pluralistic and inclusive. The current constitution guarantees all the rights of citizens. In the case of women, the law explicitly addresses political participation and their rights, including Article 22 of the law, which prohibits all forms of discrimination between Afghan citizens. Both men and women have equal rights and duties before the law. This must be explained such that the Taliban consider women's rights, including political rights, and their participation in government decisions.Network: Do the government's negotiating team, especially its female members, have the ability to represent Afghan women and defend their rights?Qaderi: The Afghan government should have chosen women negotiators based on merit. In my opinion, a number of female members of…

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The Presence of Women in Post-Agreement Situation Depends on the Nature of Taliban in Power.

Some experts believe that if a peace agreement is signed, the fate of women's rights and their presence in society will depend on the Taliban's nature of presence in power.In an interview with the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (hereafter referred to as “Network”) Mr. Basir said that the impact of the Taliban presence on women's activities depends on how the Taliban come to power. "If the Taliban enter the government through reconciliation and a political solution, they will have little influence on the activities of women and civil society. But if the peace talks fail or the group join the government without disarmament and reunification under the name of peace, civil society, women's rights and other democratic processes will certainly shut down.Network: What is your assessment of the progress made in the peace talks?Basir: Peace is one of the main demands of the Afghan people. Civilians during the war, especially in the last two decades, have been the main victims and have suffered the most. The start of the Doha peace talks was welcomed by the people in the hope of establishing peace and return to a peaceful life. Unfortunately, these talks have not yielded tangible results so far. The agreement on the dialogue process has not been finalized and the level of violence has increased. Therefore, people's overall assessment of the peace process is not positive and promising. There have been hopes for progress recently and a general understanding of the dispute between the negotiating parties. It is expected that the deadlock will be resolved and the negotiation process will actually begin.Network: Given the history of the Taliban, especially with regards to women, do you think that the peace talks will entail any positive outcome?Basir: With regard to women's rights, there are two conflicting interpretations…

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We Have not Yet Heard Any Promising News

Although more than a month has passed since the start of the peace talks, the issues at stake have not yet shifted. This issue has not only raised the concerns of ordinary citizens, but also some governmental and non-governmental officials have expressed disappointment with the peace progress.In an interview with the Civil Society and Human Rights Network (hereafter referred to as “Network”) Oranos Atefi said that it has been a long time since the talks beginning, but there is no hope for it, and many people increasingly become distrustful of the peace process.Network: Are you optimistic about the peace process?Atefi: We have not heard any promising news of the peace progress and the Taliban’s resistance to change makes it worse.Network: Given the history of the Taliban, especially with regards to women, can we expect positive outcome from peace process?Atefi: This dialogue will be fruitful if the United Nations and other countries involved in the Afghan peace process exert the necessary pressure. Otherwise, there is no hope for the outcome of this process. Since the beginning of the negotiations, the security situation has deteriorated and we are witnessing the killing of military and civilians every day; and almost all provinces are insecure. There is no hope for peace unless the international community, the US government and pro-Taliban countries intervene.Network: Do you think the presence of women in peace talks will affect the Taliban's view of them?Atefi: The presence of three women representing half of the country's population in these negotiations is not enough. They may not be able to recount all the problems of women. Another important point is that the representatives of the victims of the war should also have been present at the negotiations, and the female members of the negotiating team may not be able to…

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Women Need Unity

Some civil society activists believe that peace talk is an opportunity to bring women closer together because of their common aspirations, and that they should use this opportunity to work to increase solidarity among themselves.In an interview with the CSHRN, Mojgan Saleh, pseudonym, said that peace is one of the most important issues directly related to women's rights and freedoms, and therefore women can use it as an opportunity. "Women should seize this opportunity to strive for greater solidarity among themselves, and create justice movements, greater than before regardless of the issues; such us ethnicity or language to defend their rights and freedoms." She said.CSHRN: Can Afghan women create movements?Salehi: All Afghan women do not have the same concern. Unfortunately, most women in the country are now deprived of their basic needs and natural rights. They far from establishing a movement. But women living in a better situation, or who have been able to take advantage of educational opportunities, must work to create such movements. It is their mission to work for the betterment of themselves and their fellow human beings. I hope that after the peace agreement, the situation of women in all parts of the country will improve and, in addition to access to the most basic rights, they will have more opportunities to improve their capacity.CSHRN: What are the most important issues related to women that should be among the priorities of the peace talks?Salehi: Women rights should be prioritized. It is a fundamental issue in all countries. Religious teachings have also emphasized women's rights and giving them opportunities in social activities for society’s prosperity. Therefore, the protection of women's rights and dignity should be considered as a value. Everyone should consider themselves obliged to this value and work to protect women's rights.CSHRN: Will the…

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The Government Should Not Fall Short on Women’s Rights

Given the Taliban's approach to women, there are concerns about the Taliban team imposing restrictions on the rights of this group of citizens in peace talks. Experts believe that the representatives of the Afghan government in the negotiations should not back down from their position of protecting the rights and freedoms of women.In an interview with the CSHRN, Khodadad Watankhah said that in matters that both sides of the negotiation insist on, the side that is logical should not fall short. He added, "The view of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to protect the fundamental rights of citizens, especially women, is rational and humane, and a view of human rights. The government of Afghanistan should not fall short in this regard and should not think that the international community has left Afghanistan alone; If Afghanistan really goes back in time, the reputation of the international community will be damaged in some way, and all its investment and efforts in Afghanistan will be jeopardized."CSHRN: What is your assessment of what has been happening in the negotiations so far?Watankhah: One of the issues that the two sides initially agreed on was that there should be no mediator in the negotiation process, but in practice we saw that this agreement was not very realistic and some countries, as a kind of peace aid coalition acted as a kind of mediation which is being formed to break the deadlock in the negotiations. Somehow, everyone has come to the conclusion that the two sides may not be able to move this process forward alone. Overall, the talks have so far not been very satisfactory for Afghan and international community, and it seems that both sides are somehow looking to waste time and, of course, somehow judging each other.CSHRN: Do you…

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People’s Voice is not Heard

Some civil society activists believe that the government negotiating team is based on political affiliations. Therefore, it cannot represent all Afghans and a large part of the society is ignored.In an interview the CSHRN, Mr. Ahmadi said that all citizens, including civil society activists, religious scholars, women and youth have an important role to play in the peace process. However, he believes that people’s voice is not heard in the peace talks. He added that currently, the negotiation is only between government and the Taliban.CSHRN: Is the government’s negotiating team inclusive?Ahmadi: There are such claims from the government, but the government has selected the members of the negotiating team based on their political affiliations. Representatives of powerful individuals and groups are members of the team, but minorities representatives are not. There may be important aspect in selecting negotiating team members. But in general, due to concerns about preserving achievements and values, many people, including religious scholars, intellectuals, media and civil society representative are ignored in these negotiations. Civil society activists should be able to monitor the peace negotiations. However, such an opportunity is not being provided yet.CSHRN: What is your assessment of what has happened in the negotiations so far?Ahmadi: It is a historic opportunity and a valuable process. On the one hand, the people are tired of the war, waiting for an agreement to be reached the peace, and on the other hand, they are worried about the possibility of repeating the bitter experiences of the past. Another issue is that the peace process has slower progress and there are challenges along the way. Each side insists on its own demands for having a greater share of power. Additionally, the citizens do not know exactly what is happening in the negotiations.CSHRN: Will the negotiations reach a positive…

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The Path to Peace Must be Paved

A number of civil society activists believe that if there is no balance between the state of society and what the people's representatives are discussing and defending in peace talks, the chances of achieving peace will not be high; Hence, the necessary reforms in society must be made as a basis for the realization of peace.In an interview with the CSHRN, Hamid Safwat said that the lack of justice and reform in society is an obstacle to peace, but it can pave the way for achieving peace. “We hope that the peace talks would end with good results, but if that does not happen, we will have to pursue more serious discussions to achieve peace, such as justice and reform in the system. These issues could set the Taliban on the battlefield sooner. If we see issues such as linguistic and ethnic differences, we are actually claiming something we do not have in the negotiations, and this creates a great opportunity for the Taliban to be more involved in the war and the negotiations.”, added Mr. Hamid Safwat.CSHRN: What is your assessment of what has happened so far in the peace talks?Safwat: Simultaneously with the peace talks, the number of Taliban attacks in the country has increased, which has become a source of concern for the people. Naturally, a meeting that intensifies the war and increases casualties cannot be positively assessed. On the other hand, the invitation of some countries to the Taliban as a terrorist group shows that we have not made much progress and that the meetings have so far legitimized armed groups, including the Taliban. In any case, although there are hopes for peace, my overall assessment of the talks is not positive, and I think that the negotiations have worsened the situation and that…

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