Compromising women’s rights during the peace talks has raised public concerns. Many activists urge the government negotiating team to safeguard women’s rights including the right to education and work in their discussion with the Taliban. Speaking to CSHRN, Mr. Rashid mentioned education as the inalienable right of women, which is guaranteed by the country’s national law.
CSHRN: Do you think the Afghan negotiating team in the peace talks will stand for this right?
Rashid: The negotiations require extensive discussions and debates, which has raised public concerns over the inability of the Afghan negotiating team members to safeguard this right and the other achievements gained in the last two decades.
CSHRN: What are other concerns with regard to women’s rights that should be addressed in the peace talks?
Rashid: women’s social and political participation is a critical point, as well as the public execution that is being regularly carried out by the Taliban must be stopped now and forever.
CSHRN: Given the Taliban’s nature, do you thing the peace talks will still pay off?
Rashid: I think the Taliban’s view of women has changed to some extent. They now understand the important role of women in public life and the right to education. And yet, they may still oppose certain women’s rights and impose restrictions on women’s access to education.
CSHRN: How will the Taliban’s presence in power affect women’s activities?
Rashid: The Taliban have changed to some extent. The group now knows the critical role of women in development processes, which has been enshrined in the country’s national compacts and international legal documents to which Afghanistan is a state party. Therefore, any opposition by the Taliban will not be acceptable by others.
CSHRN: What should be done to support peace efforts?
Rashid: Civil society activists and other institutions must join their efforts to support women’s rights to ensure sustainable peace. I also urge the Taliban negotiating team to include women negotiators in their team to bring in critical points related to women. According to Rashid, the government negotiating team should place the preservation of the gains, including the constitution, women’s political rights, access to education, and certain freedoms at the forefront of their agenda with the Taliban. The team should also require the Taliban to provide guarantee that the group remains committed to complying with its obligations.