A survey conducted by the Afghan Analyst Network (AAN) shows that rural women in Afghanistan have dire concerns about their rights after a potential peace deal with the Taliban.
AAN findings indicate that the women in remote regions of Afghanistan have a clear vision for peace, but they are concerned about a possible imposition of restrictions on the women as a result of a peace agreement with the Taliban.
These women have said that peace brings security, but it should not deprive women of their basic rights.
According to the report, several women mentioned that they hoped peace would give women and girls more access to their rights, including the right to education, employment and to choose whom they marry.
“I talked to a woman in Daikundi, she had never seen the Taliban and does not know what the takeover of the region by the Taliban means, but she was scared of the Taliban from what she has heard of the Taliban, and she feels fear that she would not be able to work alongside her husband in the field,” said Khadija Hussaini, a member of AAN.
“Others hoped they would be better positioned to help their neighbors and communities, that peace would afford them the possibility to plan and look ahead, have more energy and patience to take care of their homes and children and improve their relationships with the men in their households. Almost all imagined that the absence of the noise and news of war would allow them to be less anxious, maybe even happy,” the report said.
“The women in the villages, whether they lived under the control of the Taliban or not, have a clear vision for their future,” said Khadija Hussaini, member of AAN.
Meanwhile, a number of rural women in Balkh province told TOLOnews that despite being tired of war, they are not prepared to sacrifice their rights for peace.
Rabia is an Afghan woman who has fled war in Balkh district to another region.
“We did not bring anything with us, we have only a tfew old cloths, we don’t have food to eat,” said Rabia.
“My children and myself are in danger, they were threatened through different ways, if they (Taliban) find me and my children, they will kill us,” said Fatima, an internally displaced woman in northern Afghanistan.
“The anxieties the women expressed have, in the meantime, turned out to be all too well-placed. Many were explicitly worried that things would probably stay the same or get worse. They worried the situation would unravel or that ‘peace’ would result in greater Taliban control, more restrictions or a higher level of violence. Several women struggled with the possibility that there would be no accountability for those who had inflicted suffering on so many families,” said the report.
The report was prepared in one year. Women were interviewed in at least 19 districts.