Women are underrepresented in peace talks, says AIHRC chairperson

Women are underrepresented in peace talks, says AIHRC chairperson  

The chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said in a tweet that Afghan women were underrepresented in the ongoing peace talks. Shaharzad Akbar, who is the chairperson of the AIHRC, raises concern about women’s underrepresentation ahead of a decisive peace meeting to be hosted by Turkey in the coming months.

The remark is made while the Afghan government and international diplomats have repeatedly highlighted that any peace settlement in the absence of women would not work.

Some Afghan women, however, are cynical about what they call a male-dominated peace process. Ms. Akbar underlined that the consultation about the fate of the country is mainly made with male political leaders. “The consultations seem to be happening mainly with male political leaders.”

The AIHRC chairperson, for the first time in her tenure, criticizes the Afghan leadership for not giving a real representation to the Afghan women, Afghan human rights commission, civil society, and war victims in the government-led peace delegation.

She said any male-run and male-led peace settlement will not bring success. “Having low levels of women’s participation is not acceptable. Having a side event for civil society & women’s movement but no participation/role in the main event is not good enough.”