NO PEACE WITHOUT WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN
Together with women’s rights and feminist organizations in Afghanistan, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) has launched a 2020-2021 campaign: No Peace Without Women’s Rights in Afghanistan. The campaign supports women’s demand for meaningful engagement in the current Afghanistan government – Taliban peace talks.
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1. Immediate and complete ceasefire prior to peace talks.
2. Meaningful and substantial participation of engaged Afghan women representing diverse women’s interests in the peace talks must be ensured by the government of Afghanistan and the international community, as essential to establishing lasting peace and in accordance with UN Resolution 1325.
3. Women’s and citizens’ rights already enshrined in the current Afghanistan constitution , as well as laws protecting women’s rights (e.g. Elimination of Violence against Women Law) will not be negated, repealed or rendered unenforceable or unimplementable.
4. Women’s human rights – including the right to education, health, freedom of movement and employment, right to political participation, right to be free of gender-based violence, and the right to own and inherit property – must not be reversed in this process.
5. The United Nations, including gender experts, must be involved in the peace talks to ensure a process that is in line with international law.
6. Autonomy of and support for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) must be ensured by the national government and the peace agreement.
7. Continuous and unequivocal government support for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) including adequate funding should be part of the peace agreement.
8. The continuous autonomy and freedom of civil society organizations, including women’s rights and feminist groups, must be ensured and made part of the peace agreement, and the national government must must ensure and earmark adequate allocation of funds to MOWA.
9. The peace agreement must reiterate that all citizens regardless of their gender, ethnicity and religion are equal before the law.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN NECESSARY?
The fall of the Taliban ended one of the 20th century’s cruellest regimes – one that deprived Afghan citizens, particularly women, of their basic human rights. Women and girls in Afghanistan have faced immense challenges posed by the Taliban’s ongoing attacks and assassinations. Yet at the same time, women’s rights and other movements in Afghanistan have in recent years grown an active presence in public and political life, and a number of women’s human rights are now included in the constitution and national laws.
The Taliban’s response has been the assassination of many women’s rights advocates, journalists, and female members of parliament, as well as attacks on schoolgirls and setting fire to girls’ schools. Their attacks have claimed tens of thousands of lives, physically handicapped and injured many more both physically and psychologically. What’s more, the Taliban’s return to power may also have severe consequences for all women living in Muslim contexts, as fundamentalists elsewhere may see this as a vindication of their regressive gender ideologies.
Today peace talks are ongoing between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, even while such attacks continue. WLUML and its partners believe that real peace requires the active presence of women’s human rights defenders in the peace process, and the protection of women’s human rights in its outcomes. This is crucial to prevent deep erosions of women’s human rights in the name of ‘culture’ or ‘religion’, and to protect hard-won gains for gender-justice.
Collective action and amplification is fundamental to driving progress in women’s rights. Want to partner or support us in our No Peace Without Women’s Rights in Afghanistan campaign? Please email us at WLUML.firstname.lastname@example.org and our campaign team will be in touch.
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