Hundreds of women from 14 provinces of Afghanistan on Thursday gathered in Kabul to stress the need for the protection of gains women have made in the country over the past two decades.
This comes as a planned UN-led conference on Afghanistan is scheduled to take place in Istanbul on April 24.
Women said that the role of women in the peace process shouldn’t be taken lightly.
“We need a lasting peace to prevail in our country, the gains of women and their rights must be protected,” said Humaira Rafi, an Afghan rights activist from Nangarhar, in eastern Afghanistan.
“Discussions were held about rule of law, culture, security, governance, and respecting human rights,” said Masooma Jami, a women’s rights activist.
The women said that the protection of gains, ceasefire, war victims' rights and women's rights shouldn’t be ignored in the peace negotiations talks.
“The people of Afghanistan are tired of the war, the women and the mothers do not want to see further dead bodies, the only thing we want is a ceasefire to be announced,” said Rezwana Paktiawal, a resident of Paktia province.
“These women here expressed their views and ideas about the issues—if the Istanbul conference is convened, the women will also go there to express their demands at the negotiation table,” said Farishta, an activist.
Some of the women were expected to participate in the Turkey conference, however, their trip was canceled following changes in the dates of the conference.