Tolo News – Women concerned over their rights post peace deal

A number of women said the Taliban should promise to respect women’s rights after joining the peace process.

Haseba Atakpal

Kabul – Kabul Province – Afghanistan, 29 January 2019. A number of Afghan women on Tuesday said Taliban should promise that once a peace deal is reached with the Afghan government, they will not scrap or violate women’s rights.

Based on statistics, 30 percent of university graduates are now women and every year 100,000 female students graduate from school.

Also, in total there are 756 female journalists working in the media in the country.

The women said these are the achievements that they are worried might be ignored in a post-peace deal government.

The women said the Taliban should respect women’s rights and respect the past achievements.

Arezo Shinwari, one of the women, said when Taliban took over Kabul she was a Grade 4 student in Kabul.

Then she, along with her family, moved to Pakistan where she continued her education and gained a master’s degree.

Now she works for a company in Kabul and said she is worried if Taliban returns she might not be able to continue her job.

“All our demands should be considered in the peace process. This is what all the Afghan women want,” said Shinwari.

Hashima Sharif is a resident of eastern Nangarhar province and works in a government department there.

She said the Taliban must promise that they will respect women’s rights if there is a peace deal.

“Government should be very serious in the peace process. Those who want to make peace with us, should consider our national interests 100 percent,” said Sharif.

These women also said they have not been given an important role in the peace talks.

Responding to the women’s concerns, Hasina Safi, a member of the government’s negotiating team said women’s demands will be considered in the talks.

“Women are a big part of society and we cannot ignore them. They have their influence in the peace process and they are involved in the process,” said Safi.

These latest remarks come on the heels of six days of talks between the US and Taliban last week in Qatar where the two sides reportedly agreed on some issues.