Recommendations of the Afghanistan Women’s 50% Campaign to the Peace Jirga/“We have always thought of peace”

Press release
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Recommendations of the Afghanistan Women’s 50% Campaign to the Peace Jirga
“We have always thought of peace”

23rd May 2010

Ending wars and establishing durable 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, women and activists of the Afghanistan Women’s 50% Campaign, that started operating prior to the 2009 Presidential Election, wish to draw the attention of the Jirga participants, the government, the international supporters of the Jirga, as well as the civil and women’s rights activists to the following points:

To All Participants of the Peace Jirga
• Adhere to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as the highest legal instrument of this country as well as to all achievements made by government and civil society of Afghanistan during the past nine years.
• Offer clear and democratic mechanisms to achieve an enduring and just peace in this country that would guarantee security, avoid terrorist violence, promote accountability and protect the basic rights of women, men, and children of this country.
• Say no to non-transparent negotiations with armed belligerent groups who are likely to violate the human rights of women once again; otherwise we shall refuse to support and show reaction to any non-transparent talks with armed opposition groups, where any of our human rights are violated. We have faced great dangers during the long years of the struggle for those rights.
• Speed up the investigation processes and mechanisms to prevent the presence and influence of the violators and suspects of crimes against humanity and war crimes in important government positions, Parliament, Judiciary as well as other national and local elected institutions and increase your efforts to remove them from their present positions.
• Offer well-thought and worked-out mechanisms to improve governance and rule of law including transitional justice and combating corruption on the local and national levels. We emphasise the importance of a solid approach to the challenges in Afghanistan and reaffirm that an enduring progress in the areas of security, rule of law, governance, human rights culture and a lasting development are interrelated and enhance one another.

To the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
• Remain committed to all your national and international obligations, in particular the Constitution, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) – which promotes and protects women’s political, social, civil, economic and cultural rights, which was signed in Summer 1989 and which the government fully ratified in Spring 2003 – as well as other international treaties and agreements on the rights of women and removal of discrimination against women, and Resolution 1325 of the United Nations.
• Offer practical plans and special directives for the real participation and contribution of women in the peace process.
• Make it your top priority to prepare and draw up - in cooperation with the civil society institutions nationwide - a national plan to establish truth and justice seeking commissions and to plan to achieve justice for victims (reparations to and recognition of the suffering of the victims).
• Prevent, as the protector and representative of the people, the killings of civilians by the international military forces and make them be accountable and abide by international military law.

To International Supporters of the Peace Jirga
• Increase your accountability and abiding by international military law and prevent the killings of civilians that claim most victims from among women and children, and endeavour to establish transparency vis-à-vis the legal framework of the operations of the coalition forces.
• Promote and support the process of transitional justice as one of the fundamental mechanisms of securing peace and justice and underline the full implementation of the Action Plan on Justice, Peace and Reconciliation by the government.

To Women’s Rights Activists and Defenders Participating in Peace Jirga
• Take coordinated and joint approaches at all stages of the Jirga, be the voice of the women of Afghanistan, and take intelligent actions.
• Keep diligent in regard to recognition of the bond between impunity and persistent violation of human rights, which undermines the efforts to end gender-based discrimination, achievement of social justice and creation of a free political space.


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