UN Calls For Women To Be Included In Peace Talks

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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, on Thursday advocated for broader involvement by Afghan women in the peace talks process between government and insurgent groups, saying a peace process without the participation of women was not acceptable to the organization.

The statement comes amid a surge in acts of violence against women and government’s failure to serve justice on the perpetrators.

UN Women has criticized the absence of Afghan women through several rounds of peace talks and has called on the Afghan government to address the concerns of the world body in this respect.

Mlambo-Ngcuka also called for government to step up efforts to address the ongoing challenges facing women such as the rise in domestic violence, open trials of women by the Taliban and child marriages.

The UN official questioned the absence of Afghan women during the recent rounds of peace talks held in Pakistan in recent months.

“UN women does not have the capacity to fight the Taliban, that is a security issue, so we would like to encourage the government to use its power with the security, what we are concerned about is the protection of the women,” she said.

Mlambo-Ngcuka is expected to report back to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) about the plight of women in Afghanistan.

“Unfortunately, evasion from the law and impunity is still rising; the level of violence and cases such as Farkhunda and Rukhshana, who were inhumanly murdered, have not been finalized and perpetrators involved in violence have not been served justice. In the peace sphere, we want women to be authorized to make decisions,” MP Fawzia Kofi said.

“There are people who have the wrong idea about the role of women in society, but the Islamic viewpoint is that women are allowed to participate in the political and social processes,” religious scholar Niamatullah Abid said.

This comes amid the current peace talks deadlock between the Afghan government and the two main insurgent groups – Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami – which has quashed recent hopes about clinching a ground breaking peace agreement.

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