Statement of the Afghanistan Women’s 50% Campaign
On the Supreme Peace Council
31st October 2010
We have always thought of peace
Ending wars and establishing an enduring peace require talks among fair persons in a transparent and credible popular process in Afghanistan. This must pay consistent and central attention to women’s rights and participation in all decision- and policy-making activities. That is the essence and common foundation of the demands of the different groups of conscious men and women of our time. We women believe that an enduring peace depends on the comprehensive participation of all citizens. We know well that peace cannot be achieved without scrutinising the roots of hostility and war. It is clear to everybody that equal and qualitative participation of women in peace negotiations as mediators and negotiators is the prerequisite for achieving peace, a healthy, balanced and humane society free from violence, poverty and injustice.
On the eve of the Peace Jirga in summer 2010, women and activists of the Afghanistan Women’s 50% Campaign, that started operating prior to the 2009 Presidential Election, stated their just demands in relation to the talks with the Taliban to the government of Afghanistan, participants of the Jirga, international supporters of the government and civil activists.
In the Peace Jirga, women managed through their comprehensive efforts to enter the committees as secretaries and present pervasive plans on the national and human rights issues. Their plans however did not receive much attention in the final resolution.
The Supreme Peace Council that was launched in October 2010 consists of the appointed representatives of the Jihadi and Taliban groups. The composition of this parallel institution while we have a parliament elected by people’s vote has astounded everybody. As directed by the Constitution, our country does have the necessary and adequate institutions to represent the votes and demands of the majority of the people.
The public statements of the Supreme Peace Council in its early days have caused concern for the people and doubts among the women regarding the sense of responsibility of the Council and its dedication to the Constitution and the people’s vote.
To guard the achievements of the past decade and to defend the rights and interests of the war-hit and suffering people, we feel obliged once more to raise the people’s voice and to state the following issues and demands:
• In the absence of the elected and trusted representatives of the people, the Council mainly consists of the people who were perpetrators of war, insecurity and violation of human rights in our county and they are not in a capacity to mediate in and resolve conflicts;
• The presence of independent personalities, defenders of civil rights and worthy representatives of the people on the Council is remarkably weak and symbolic;
• Under the Constitution, initiatives such as the Peace Council may play only an advisory role and cannot function as institutions parallel to the National Parliament.
• There has been talk of giving political and economic concessions and “anything the Taliban demand” in the first discussions of the Council. The patriotic men and women of Afghanistan demand to know the content of this “anything”. They demand implementation of justice and strongly condemn the lack of transparency in the process and giving concessions without directly engaging with the people;
• Women revived the lost honour of Afghanistan on the international level through their extensive political participation. The three branches of the state have a duty to safeguard the rights and achievements of the women and not deal with them.