On Monday 10th July, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security (APPG-WPS) hosted an event titled “The future of Women, Peace and Security in Afghanistan- supporting women’s participation in the socio-political and humanitarian processes” in partnership with the Afghan Women’s Coalition for Change (AWCC) and the Women for Peace and Participation (WPP). This event aims to draw attention to the challenging obstacles faced by women in Afghanistan, focusing particularly on their participation regarding their involvement in decision-making processes and their overall safety.
The collaborative effort between WPP, AWCC, and APPG-WPS underscores the urgency of addressing the crucial issues surrounding women’s participation and protection in Afghanistan. By assembling this high-level public event, the organisations seek to generate widespread awareness and rally support for this urgent cause.
The event will serve as a platform to shed light on the numerous challenges faced by Afghan women, such as limited access to political representation, social barriers, and the persistent threat to their security. It will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders, including policymakers, activists, and community leaders, to engage in insightful discussions, exchange ideas, and develop strategies to empower Afghan women and ensure their safety and meaningful involvement in shaping the country’s future.
The event’s primary mission is to magnify the voices of Afghan women, highlighting the unique challenges they endure. The ultimate goal is to inspire concrete actions and initiatives that will bring about positive change and a brighter future for women in Afghanistan.
Speakers Discussion Summary/Key Points
During the discussions, the participants engaged in in-depth conversations regarding the active involvement of Afghan women in various socio-political and humanitarian activities. They acknowledged the importance of incorporating women’s perspectives into critical discussions and decision-making processes. Additionally, they emphasised the significance of providing a safe environment for women engaging in such activities, considering the challenging context within Afghanistan.
The discourse also shed light on the shared responsibility of member states, international civil society, and allies in supporting and empowering Afghan women to contribute to their country’s future. Several noteworthy recommendations emerged from speakers, outlining practical steps and strategies to ensure genuine inclusion of women in decision-making processes. To further explore and research these ideas, the organisers committed to conducting in-depth studies, involving expert groups and actively engaging Afghan women and men from diverse backgrounds.
Speakers highlighted the profound impact of the current situation on Afghanistan, particularly on the marginalised and suppressed rights of women and girls. They urged women leaders to unite and passionately advocate for the rights of Afghan women.
In conclusion, the event underscored the critical role of various entities in supporting Afghan women’s involvement in mainstream decision-making processes while safeguarding them from potential threats. The insightful recommendations generated a commitment to further research, with the hope that the results shared with key stakeholders will contribute to a positive shift in Afghanistan’s narrative.
Speakers also acknowledged the gender dynamics within Afghan society and the importance of respecting the Pashtun values that shape the country. However, speakers emphasised the need for a change in approaches to address the challenges faced, arguing that closed-door meetings and exclusive discussions would not benefit Afghanistan. They stressed the importance of inclusivity, particularly in involving Afghan women in all platforms and decision-making processes.
Participants Discussion Summary/Key Points
The event attendees highlighted the challenges faced by Afghan women in the diaspora during the process of reintegration. They emphasised the need to explore opportunities for education, technical skills, and language proficiency. Additionally, it is important to identify and create job and small business prospects. Participants also stressed the importance of unity among Afghan women in the diaspora, urging them to work together on a single platform to amplify their voices and efforts in supporting women and girls in Afghanistan.
Participants mentioned the existence of multiple platforms and associations for the Afghan diaspora in the UK. Attendees proposed the idea of consolidating these efforts into a single, larger platform that represents all voices within the community. Also, emphasised the need to create socio-economic opportunities that empower women both in the diaspora and within Afghanistan. By providing financial, social, and economic security, women can achieve safety and have their voices heard.
They called for concrete solutions to be implemented, urging organisations such as the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) platform and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to take practical steps and transform their advocacy into action. They highlighted the importance of utilising available resources to provide effective solutions, and also stressed the role of the international community in pressuring muslim countries to exert influence on the Taliban.
This pressure is seen as crucial in advancing the cause of Afghan women. The advocated for the support of Afghan women judges who are currently facing dire circumstances. Participants underlined the need for moral, social, and financial assistance, as these judges are at risk, lacking both security and a stable source of income. They, also suggested drawing inspiration from the success stories of other countries, such as Nigeria, where creating small business opportunities has empowered women economically.
Additionally, they stressed on empowering women to play an active role in shaping policies was seen as crucial. They expressed the view that the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda can be a game-changer for Afghanistan. The need to translate words into action and emphasised the importance of practical steps and unity among strong women. Participants highlighted the skepticism of the Taliban towards democracy, noting their leader’s strong Islamic background and also stressed to called upon the international community to address gender and discrimination issues and to engage the Taliban in a commercialised manner.
1. The people of Afghanistan require a legitimate government and a system based on the rule of law in order to ensure stability and justice.
2. Afghan women should be actively involved in all discussions regarding the future of Afghanistan and the rights of women. Their inclusion is crucial for shaping a better future for both women and the country.
3. Afghan women from the diaspora should engage with women and girls in Afghanistan, advocating for their rights and offering support through a spirit of sisterhood. This collaboration aims to create opportunities for socio-economic development and empowerment.
4. It is essential to raise our voices and demand the inclusion of women in decision-making processes, going beyond the requirements of Resolution 1325. Taking a stronger approach is necessary to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.
5. Efforts must be made to institutionalise and safeguard the fundamental rights of women in Afghanistan, ensuring they are protected by established laws and systems.
6. By improving the socio-economic conditions of women and girls in Afghanistan, we can empower them and provide them with opportunities for growth and development.
7. To amplify our impact, it is important for us to unite and speak with one voice to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls, creating a stronger collective voice for change.
8. Strengthening democratic institutions can be accomplished through constructive dialogues with politicians and the media, promoting transparency and accountability.
9. It is crucial to urge the UK government to engage with Muslim countries and encourage them to exert pressure on the Taliban, influencing their actions and decisions.
10. Efforts should be made to put pressure on countries involved in trade and communication with the Taliban, as this can impact their behaviour and potentially lead to positive changes.
11. Support should be provided to Afghan women in the diaspora, particularly those who have recently arrived, to help them reintegrate into the UK. They require guidance and assistance. Additionally, creating a unified platform for Afghan women in the diaspora to collaborate and support each other will allow for more effective assistance to both themselves and women in Afghanistan.
12. Providing educational opportunities, technical skills courses, language support, and creating job and small business opportunities for Afghan women in the diaspora are important steps towards empowering them and facilitating their successful integration in the UK.
13. It is necessary to expand socio-economic opportunities for Afghan women in the diaspora as well as in Afghanistan, allowing them to thrive and contribute to their communities.
14. Access to finance and security should be ensured for Afghan women, enabling them to pursue their goals and aspirations in a safe and stable environment.
15. Concrete actions must be taken to translate advocacy into tangible results. It is important to implement the ideas and proposals we advocate for.
16. Platforms such as the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda and the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) should take practical steps to turn their words into action, effectively addressing the needs and concerns of Afghan women.
17. Utilising the available resources effectively and efficiently is crucial to maximise the impact of our efforts and initiatives.
18. Creating funding and donation platforms specifically for Afghan women in Afghanistan will provide them with essential support and resources to advance their rights and improve their living conditions.