Kabul, 04 December "Without the active involvement of women in the peace process, there can be no lasting peace" said National Security Advisor to the Government of Afghanistan, Dr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta, at the opening of the Forum on Women, Peace and Security in Afghanistan today.
Afghanistan National Security Advisor, Dr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta speaking at the Forum on Women, Peace and Security.The Forum is supported by the UNDP, N-PEACE and Research Institute for Women, Peace and Security (RWIPS).
Drawing attention to the persistent victimization faced by women ever since the days of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, Dr. Spanta said: "When a culture of violence sets in, women and children are the ones most vulnerable to poverty, suffering and discrimination. We need to fight this global phenomenon by paying greater attention to women's rights to education and political participation."
Jointly sponsored by the N-PEACE network of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Research Institute for Women, Peace and Security (RIWPS), the three-day forum is attended by more than 80 women representatives of the Provincial Peace Councils and the High Peace Council from some of the most conflict-ridden parts of the country. The forum will establish the basis for greater female participation in the national dialogue on peace and reconciliation over the next 3-5 years.
Two-time Member of Parliament Shinkai Karokhel lamented the modest representation of women in the High Peace Council (HPC) proportionate to their share of the population. Just nine out of the 80 member-strong council--the country's main body for reconciliation efforts--are women. "We have to invest greater trust in the ability of women to play a greater role in the peace process", Ms. Karokhel said.
Women Members of Parliament and over 80 Women representatives of peace councils from across Afghanistan are attending the 3-day Forum.
N-Peace, an initiative of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC), aims to be a regional coalition that promotes women's leadership as peace and security advocates and advocates for strong national policies to promote the role of women in conflict prevention and peace building.
Speaking at the forum, N-PEACE awardee and Member of Parliament, Ms. Farkhunda Nadery, said the peace prize had inspired her to play a more active role in mobilizing young people from different parts of the country to come forward and share their perspectives on nation-building.
Haji Amin Weqaad, the deputy Chair of the High Peace Council and a well-known Islamic scholar, said the Government of Afghanistan is bound by national and international laws and declarations to foster peace in a composite manner, including the strong participation of women.
The Forum will conclude on 6 December with the finalization of an action plan for furthering the role of women in promoting peace and security.
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