Afghanistan

Afghan women protest lack of representatives in Moscow

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (Tolo News): A number of women activists expressed criticism over the lack of women within the Afghan delegation of the Moscow conference. Moscow hosted a summit on Afghanistan. Although the envoys of over 10 countries participated in the meeting, there was no US representation.
A joint statement issued hours after the summit called for the formation of an inclusive government, observation of the rights of women, and the facilitation of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. However, some women activists said that the Islamic Emirate, despite making promises to stay committed to the rights of women, has yet to act on its commitments.
The Ministry of Information and Culture said that it was a political meeting and that women are not within the structure of the Islamic Emirate. “It was a meeting in which the political officials of other countries participated, the Islamic Emirate doesn’t have any women in its [official] structure,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, deputy minister of information and culture.
Women activists said that the Islamic Emirate has not given women any role in their government. “The host of every summit with the Taliban should consider the inclusion of women as well, thus, over time, this issue will become a normal practice for the Taliban; also, the world that wants to support Afghan women–they should also show it in practice,” said Shukria Barakzai, former Afghan ambassador to Norway.
The women activists said that women’s inclusion in the government was not only the wish of Afghan women but the demand of the international community. “The role and inclusion of Afghan women in the political process is not only the wish of the Afghan people but also the international community,” said Roya Dadras, former spokesperson for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
On the sidelines of the Moscow conference, the representatives of China, India and other countries held separate meetings. Some Afghan politicians called the Moscow conference important for the formation of an inclusive government, countering Daesh threats, and for the flow of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. “The Moscow meeting had two main benefits for Afghanistan: First, the summit and Russia called for a donor conference for Afghanistan, which is very important for Afghanistan, and second, India was also there and signed the joint statement,” said, Toriq Farhadi, a political analyst. The statement called for the formation of an international donors conference on Afghanistan.
“For good governance, everyone offered their opinions on how the government could get better in Afghanistan,” said Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting minister of foreign affairs. Article two of the statement said: “The sides reiterated their respect to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and reaffirmed their commitment to Afghanistan as a peaceful, indivisible, independent, economically developing State, free of terrorism and drug-related crime and respecting the basic norms in the human rights area.”
In the statement, the participants called on the current leadership in Afghanistan to work for an inclusive government. “Participating countries call on the current Afghan leadership to take further steps to improve governance and to form a truly inclusive government that adequately reflects the interests of all major ethno-political forces in the country. This will be a fundamental prerequisite for the completion of the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan.” The leader of National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan, Sayed Ishaq Gailani, said that donations would not be provided until the Islamic Emirate works on an inclusive government. “I am not sure that the pledge-donation will arrive in Afghanistan until they make an inclusive government,” he said. While the recognition of the Islamic Emirate and the release of Afghan assets were expected to be the main issues of the conference, the statement didn’t say anything about either.

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