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Let women lead peace talks

By Faheem Nazimi     

In the run up to the Peace negotiation with Taliban for the Afghan reconciliation in Qatar, government of Afghanistan is in the process of setting up certain organizational structures to facilitate the process to participate in the Peace talks with Taliban including the National Peace Council and a Peace negotiating delegation representing both government and the nation. The set ups will comprise members from all sections and stratum of the society including the youth and women as well as other players and peace brokers and stake holders. All such efforts are aimed at forwarding certain redline values that need to be preserved and are not for trading in the course of the negotiation with Taliban.  They are not up for grabs or compromise. One of the key values to uphold is the right of woman. It is emphasized that women should be given a greater role in the process towards peace negotiation. They need greater participation. We call up on the government and the youth to stand up for the rights of woman and unite in solidarity with Afghan women to be able to have a greater voice in the upcoming peace talks with Taliban. There will be no peace without women meaningful participation in the talks, as women are naturally peaceful, kind and sympathetic. They also constitute more than half of the society. So it is their democratic right too to be taken onboard for peace. This is the stratum that has suffered most in the past 40 years of war and bloodshed in Afghanistan. They deserve a leading role, for they have borne the brunt of the conflict. They know the need for peace more than any boy else. Therefore, all negotiating parties must respect their rights and must allow them to play a more decisive role in the negotiation. Mind you we are in the 21 century; the Afghans will never allow a savage misogynistic force to force them into compliance with their preposterous traditions. If we want a lasting peace for Afghanistan, this is the way it is. No compromise on hard won gains of the 18 years with Taliban in Afghanistan, come what may.

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