Afghan Women Leader’s Peace Summit 2020
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
By Afghanistan Women's Network
Between 20 – 25 November 2020, a group of women activists gathered in Dubai for the The Afghan Women Leader’s Peace Summit 2020, a historic event to reset and review the agenda for peace in Afghanistan. In attendance was a cross section of Afghan women from the provinces, Kabul and the Diaspora.
The Summit was organized by Afghan Women’s Network in collaboration with the Afghanistan Mechanism for Inclusive Peace (AMIP) and culminated in a set of Common and Shared positions that we, the women of Afghanistan, stand behind and deliver with one voice.
During the Summit, activists articulated the roles that women should play in the peace process. The final document, the Declaration, was subsequently delivered to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Negotiation Team, the Taliban and the international community.
Peace is not just the absence of war. Peace entails freedom from all forms of violence and coercion, respect for human dignity, justice, human rights, and equality for women and all citizens.
The November 2020 Geneva Conference comes at a critical time for Afghanistan. Since the start of the peace negotiation, civilian casualties have significantly increased. Women activists, civil society and journalists have been subjected to targeted killings and the number of internally displaced people and asylum seekers is on a steep rise. While we want negotiations to succeed, we are deeply concerned that Women’s Rights will be traded as a price to be paid for peace.
WJO's Speech at the Summit
Speaking at the Summit, our Executive Director, Humaira Rasuli, questioned the absence of war victims, civil society activists and religious minorities in the peace talks, though they had a substantial stake in the peace process.
Referring to the backlog of cases of powerful offenders, Humaira also stressed that the lack of political and moral courage to arrest and prosecute offenders is crippling the sanctity of the rule of law.
The patronage system which links most people to the power hierarchies has completely paralyzed the government's ability to execute its function.
Humaira also pointed to the many resolutions, laws, policies, action plans and strategies which have been passed to empower women and criticized Afghanistan's track record for significantly failing in its implementation. International human rights have been incorporated into domestic legislation but considerable gaps in their enforcement remains. Impunity is a profound challenge with no end in sight.
If the legitimacy of laws and policies continue to be undermined, impunity will continue to prevail as the norm, and, political peace will not be sustainable.
The Afghan Women Leaders Summit Declaration is a consensus document and we urge all in the movement to stand behind the demands set out.