One of the concerns about the situation after the peace talks among women activists is the Taliban’s insincerity to comply with the terms of any possible peace agreement.

“A monitoring mechanism must be put in place by the United Nations and the international community to closely observe the implementation of the peace agreement,” Anisa Sarwari said.

CSHRN: What are the pre-conditions for lasting peace?

Sarwari: To make durable peace, people across various walks of life must be part of the talks. Social peace must precede political peace. Global experience, including that of Nepal demonstrates effective role of women in maintaining peace efforts.

CSHRN: Do you think women now have sufficient presence in peace talks?

Sarwari: In my view, quality is more important than quantity. As long as, women in the negotiating members can well-represent women’s rights, it will be effective. According to her, all women, mainly in Herat province, want their rights and gains to be protected

CSHRN: What problems has absence of women from Herat in the peace talks brought about?

Sarwari: The growing security deterioration in Herat poses serious threats to women’s life in this province. Most women have been forced to quit their jobs and stay at home. They are under direct threat by the Taliban. She further added that women’s departments have not been previously active at the district level in Herat. However, the problem is now partially solved with the establishment of women’s council in those areas.

CSHRN: Does insecurity challenge the work of the women’s department?

Yes, insecurity still remains the main challenge on the way to women’s literacy, social awareness. As a result, violence in those district is now widespread, women are humiliated and sold.

According to Miss. Sarwari, any political settlement that gives the Taliban undue influence, women would again be marginalized as they had been under the Islamic Emirate. She maintains that those national institutions, which have been established to protect women’s rights, must, too, be preserved in any political deal with the Taliban.

Interviews on women and peace