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Ambiguous peace talks undermines women’s role in judicial council: AWN

By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: Afghan Women Network (a cluster of civil society activities for advocacy of women rights) alleged the murky negotiation process with Taliban has impacted membership of women in High Council of the Supreme Court (HCSC) in a serious way.

Shafiqa Habibi, a member of AWN said that after rejection of Anisa Rasooli by Lower House of Parliament (Wolesi Jirga) they met President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer, Abdullah Abdullah, several times and both of them vowed to nominate another competent woman as a judge for Supreme Court.

She said that women were waiting for the government to introduce a woman as a judge to protect women’s rights in judicial bodies, however, to their dismay and shock the government finally introduced a man. “This is serious breach of the promise,” she said.

Last Tuesday, Second Vice President Sarwar Danish introduced Abdul Hasib Ahadi as a member of the Supreme Court to Wolesi Jirga. Since the seat for reserved for a female judge therefore his appointment sparked a wave of anger and disappointment among women’s rights activists.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Habibi said that what influenced women rights in the current situation is the current nature of political situation and ambiguous peace dialogs with Taliban.

She stressed that women always have expressed their deep concerns regarding the murky peace talks’ process and demanded of the government not to politicize the women’s rights under the pretext of peace negotiations with Taliban. “Today we see that our rights have been thrown under the bus of the ambiguous peace talks as women were totally excluded from the HCSC membership,” she lamented.

Hasina Safi, chairperson of AWN, said that rejection of a woman as judge in HCSC was a great betrayal of political leaders as it has undermined women’s rights in Afghanistan.

She said that appointment of a female judge in the High Council of the Supreme Court was an effective step, which could have supported women’s rights in an impressive way besides showing the democratic nature of the government.

“We introduced several competent women to President Ashraf Ghani and Lower House of Parliament for the nomination of judge, but shockingly none of the candidates were appointed even though president Ghani himself had quizzed them for their competence,” she said.

She called on the Wolesi Jirga to support women’s rights and reserve one chair for women in HCSC.

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