Afghan women play hardly any role in peace negotiations

Afghan women appear to play hardly any part in the peace negotiations for their country. Only one woman in five sits at the table at a meeting. The aid organisations Oxfam Novib and Cordaid report this the day after the peace negotiations with the Taliban and the Afghan government have started.

For the study, the organisations investigated dozens of meetings and negotiations around the Afghan peace process between 2005 and 2020. It shows that women attended a total of 15 meetings (22%).

No women at all

High-level meetings, such as the 11 meetings between the United States and the Taliban, did not include women at all. While those negotiations could have a huge impact on the future of women in Afghanistan, the researchers write.

The Afghan Government has included five women in the negotiating team of 21, but the Taliban has not included one. The report calls for women to be involved as serious interlocutors in the negotiations from the outset and stresses that peace is more sustainable when women participate.

“Unfortunately, we see that Afghan women are often only involved when it comes to womens rights, says Jaap van Hierden, Country Director of Cordaid in Afghanistan. “Women must be included as indispensable interlocutors at every stage and every subject of the negotiations

Last weekend, peace talks between the Taliban movement and the Afghan government began in the Qatari capital Doha. The talks should put an end to almost 20 years of war in Afghanistan.