Helmand Women’s Voice Is Brought to the Negotiation Table
Dr. Alema, Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Civil Society Organizations of the State Ministry for Peace, met with officials of the Helmand Women's Voice and Solidarity Organization and the Women's Council of the 7th District of Kabul city in a joint online and in-person meeting. During the meeting protecting the rights of women and war victims, women's concerns and demands in the peace process, and achieving a ceasefire were discussed.
At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Alema, Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Civil Society Organizations of the State Ministry for Peace, welcomed the participants and said that the Helmand women's advocacy movement is a model for all Afghan women and hopes to be a model for all Afghan women.
She expressed hope that the next meetings of the State Ministry for Peace with Helmand women would be held in person and that they would share their views and plans.
Dr. Alema emphasized that Helmand women, due to living in insecure areas, understand the sorrow of the people more than others and have a conscious and deep view regarding the peace process.
The Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Civil Society Organizations of the State Ministry for Peace, referring to the insecurities during the past few decades, said that the history of violence and war should not be repeated.
Referring to the achievements of recent years, Dr. Alema stated that women should maintain and defend their red lines in the peace process.
Helmand women said it is a happy place for them to bring their voices to the negotiation table, and their voices could be heard in the peace process.
They stressed that the people of Helmand want a sustainable and inclusive peace and expressed the hope that these meetings will be held on a regular basis to gain the views of the women of the provinces on the peace process.
The participants shared the demands of Helmand women. They mentioned the preservation of the Afghan women achievements, the rights of war victims, the Constitution, especially its second chapter, and the declaration of a ceasefire as important demands of Helmandi women.
They also said that there is need to an immediate ceasefire in the first step; because war and peace are not possible at the same time. Helmand women have suffered a lot during war and violence, and now everyone is calling for a ceasefire and peace.
The participants, on the other hand, called for the preservation of women's right to social participation, saying that the presence of women should not be restricted in peace negotiations.
Emphasizing the protection of women's rights in peace negotiations, they said the government should share details of the possible peace agreement with the people before signing it.
Salma Akbari, chairwoman of the Kabul 7th District Women's Council, also said that Afghan women would fight for their rights and that their voices would never be silenced.
Dr. Alema, Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Civil Organizations of the State Ministry for Peace, while expressing his gratitude to the participants of the meeting, pledged that their demands and suggestions will be shared with the negotiation team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Referring to the Afghanistan peace negotiations, she said that a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire is at the top of the agenda of the negotiation team and they will discuss this issue during the negotiations.
Dr. Alema also said that the issue of women's rights and their political and social participation is also on the agenda of the negotiations.
She further stressed that these meetings will be held continuously and in the next meetings, efforts would be made to connect Helmand women directly with the negotiation team.
Laila Jafari, Head of Political Organizations and Civil Society Institutions of the State Ministry for Peace, concluded the meeting by thanking the participants.