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Envoys call for women, civil society and minorities participation in peace process

Envoys Call for Women, Civil Society, Minorities Roles in Peace Process

KABUL – Western envoys in Kabul in a statement on Thursday welcomed the formation of the High Council for National Reconciliation and called on Afghan parties involved in the peace process to ensure the inclusion of women, minorities and civil society institutions for “meaningful peace negotiation.”
The statement reads: “The embassies of Australian, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the kingdom of Netherlands, the kingdom of Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom and the delegation of the European Union welcome the information of the High Council for National Reconciliation and hope that this will quickly be followed by the announcement of the date for the commencement of the intra-Afghan negotiations. These are critical steps toward an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace. ”
“It is now urgent that both the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban insist on the meaningful participation of women in these negotiations. History shows peace agreements are more durable and successful when women are fully integrated and engaged,” the statement said.
“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban must actively include women in all dimensions of the peace process; leadership councils, negotiating teams, consultative shuras, technical and advisory team. we urge both sides to redouble efforts to appoint a greater number of qualified women to these bodies,” the statement read.
The Western envoys in the statement also stressed the importance of men as crucial advocates for gender equality and urged them to actively promote the involvement of the Afghan women in the peace process.
“The fundamental rights of Afghan women enshrined in the Afghan constitution must be preserved and strengthened as part of peace process. these include women’s rights to work, education, freedom of movement and association and access to health care,” the statement said.
The statement concludes: “The chance for a peaceful and prosperous future Afghanistan relies on recognizing the power and harnessing the unrealized potential of Afghan women.”
This comes a week after recent meetings of prominent Afghan political leaders were held without the presence of women, which has sparked reactions from activists who said women should be given a role in decision-making about the future of the country.
(Sahar News)

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