A group of Afghan women at a gathering in Dubai analyzed various aspects of the ongoing peace efforts in Afghanistan and criticized it for "absence" of representatives of war victims, civil society activists and religious minorities.
Sima Samar, State Minister for Human Rights Affairs, speaking at the event on Sunday said the peace efforts will not succeed unless there is a “sincere” political will.
“A high presence of women in the process will increase pressure on the Taliban because they (Taliban) should pay attention to new realities in Afghanistan,” Samar said at the Afghan Women Leaders Peace Summit where at least 50 women had attended.
Other speakers said Afghan women have not been given a significant role in peace processes in the country over the last four decades, but now, their role should be vigilant and effective.
“Despite all efforts, we still have concerns that there might be secret deals in which women are affected,” said Samira Hamidi, a representative of Amnesty International.
The women said they will prepare a strategy for women’s role in peace negotiations.
“The priorities for the peace process that women want to share with decision-makers is the participation of women in the peace process,” said Roshan Mashal, acting deputy of Afghan Women’s Network.
“The event is about women’s role in the peace process and how they can improve their role in the peace process,” said Massoud Karokhil, CEO of The Afghanistan Mechanism for Inclusive Peace (AMIP).
Some government officials, lawmakers, representatives of women from provinces and women’s rights institutions attended the event in Dubai that will continue for six days.