Joint Statement by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and UN Women Afghanistan on “Gender Responsive Ceasefire & Ceasefire Agreements”

Joint Statement

by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and UN Women Afghanistan

on “Gender Responsive Ceasefire & Ceasefire Agreements”

“Cease Fire, Seize Peace”

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and UN Women Afghanistan launch a publication highlighting gendered ceasefires as a prerequisite for peace talks and a negotiated settlement.

Globally, women have long been at the frontlines of conflict and crisis, pioneering ways to end conflict, participating in peace, and advocating for the rights of women and girls in agreement seeking to end violent conflict. Yet often, women’s expertise and priorities are excluded from formal ceasefire agreements and implementation mechanisms. In Afghanistan, women continue to risk their lives every day in the name of peace. 2020 marked the highest number of women killed since the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began systematic documentation in 2009.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and UN Women Afghanistan launched “Gender responsive ceasefires and ceasefire agreements” - a publication highlighting how gender responsive ceasefire is urgently needed in the context of Afghanistan to secure the conditions for meaningful peace talks. The publication outlines a practical set of recommended entry points for securing gender related provisions in ceasefire text as well as outlining how ceasefire agreements can address the gender dynamics of conflict.

This publication if part of a joint AIHRC and UN Women series called ‘Sustaining Peace Briefs’. This series seeks to provide evidence-based guidance to diverse national stakeholders working on peace in Afghanistan.

The publication was launched through a high-level event featuring H.E. Dr Abdullah ABDULLAH - Chairperson of High Council for National Reconciliation, H.E. Hasina SAFI - Acting Minister of Women’s Affairs, Dr. Habiba SARABI - Peace Negotiation Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ms. Shaharzad AKBAR - Chairperson, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, H.E Mette KNUDSEN - Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

The event featured a collective call for a ceasefire from Afghan women across provinces and the international community in Kabul to put an end to all forms of violence. Some of the key messages emphasized during the event included the urgent need for a comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan that ends all forms of violence, how the ongoing insecurity is a major obstacle to securing lasting peace and how women are actively trying to find ways to make the lives of all Afghan’s safer. The event made clear that violence does not end on the battlefield and that a sustainable end of hostilities means ending all forms of violence, including violence against women.

Read the full publication in Dari, English and Pashto at: https://bit.ly/3xpYbAK

For more details please contact:

  • [insert Name, surname, title, function and contact details of Communications Office of AIHRC]
  • Nangyalai TANAI - Communications Specialist, UN Women Afghanistan, nangyalai.tanai@unwomen.org.

Quotes:

H.E. Dr Abdullah ABDULLAH - Chairperson of High Council for National Reconciliation

“For the last 40 years, women have been the major victims of war. If we really want a ceasefire that lasts, we need women to be part of it and all their needs must be taken very well into consideration. Peace is what all Afghan people want. A just peace, A peace for all. A justified peace that take the rights of all Afghans into consideration.”

H.E. Hasina SAFI - Acting Minister of Women’s Affairs

“Afghanistan has been facing violence for a very long time. We need to raise out voices, we need to stand together side by side as one nation and put an end to violence that also puts an end to the progress of our country. The women of Afghanistan need to seize any opportunity they have to bring peace to Afghanistan, a peace for all.”

Shaharzad AKHBAR – Chairperson, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

“Why are we talking about ceasefires and peace when the violence rates are so high? Because this is the common demand of all Afghans, across ethnicities, across genders, across geographies, across age groups: the end of war and ceasefire. From a human rights perspective, from all perspectives, this the biggest need, working for peace”.

H.E Mette KNUDSEN, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan,

“Today’s discussion, on gender provisions in ceasefire agreements, is very timely for Afghanistan. The need to reduce violence remains. Women are concerned that their rights will be at risk, they are concerned that the civil society space is shrinking. All Afghans, particularly women, are asking for an end to violence in all its forms. “

Aleta MILLER – UN Women Representative in Afghanistan

“Afghanistan can lead the world on peace processes. Globally, peace processes say little or nothing about women’s rights and statistically equality between women and men is a pre-requisite for long-lasting peace. Afghanistan can and should be different. But for any progress to happen, violence, in all its forms, must stop. It must stop now and forever, for any peace to happen, for any peace to last, for any progress.”


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