Some women activists believe that the participation of women as half the population of the country is very important in the peace process and they should play a constructive role in it. According to these activists, peace cannot be achieved without a meaningful presence of women in the peace talks.
In an interview with the CSHRN, Ms. Nezami said that despite being capable individuals, women in the negotiating team are not deeply involved in decisive and important issues. But given that there are no women in the Taliban team, women’s membership in the government’s negotiating team is a positive step.
CSHRN: Is the presence of women in the negotiating team satisfactory in terms of quantity?
The number of women in the government’s negotiating team is not enough, but we support them as the voice and the representatives of Afghan women. If this small number of representatives can defend the political and social rights of women, we can say they are a strong/capable team.
CSHRN: What is women’s demand from peace talks?
Nezami: Women should not be deprived of education, neither should their political and social rights be ignored. Women should be able to actively participate in society; a businesswoman, for instance, must be allowed to pursue her business activities. In general, women should enjoy equal rights as men, because their activities are equally important for the progress and development of the country.
CSHRN: What issues should be the government’s red lines in peace talks?
Nezami: The achievements of recent years, including democracy, women rights to education and employment, and their active participation in the political and social sphere should be the government’s red line.
CSHRN: How much do you think the Taliban’s involvement in the government will affect the activities of women’s rights activists?
Nezami: There is a consensus on women’s right to education and employment at the national and international levels. I am confident that as a result of the peace agreement and with the support of the international community Afghan women will not be deprived of these rights.
CSHRN: So, what are your concerns about the outcome of the peace talks?
Nezami: Many concerns, including the escalation of war and the Taliban attacks during the peace talks, remain unaddressed. However, I think we should wait for an agreement on the agenda and the outcome of the peace talks, and instead of fomenting issues that are undermining the peace process, we should promote its success.
According to Ms Nezami, many factions are involved in the war in Afghanistan, and there might be some disagreements over the agenda of the negotiations. He adds that in order to facilitate talks, both sides should agree on a ceasefire first and foremost.