Speaking in a meeting at UN Headquarters on Tuesday to some Afghan women, ambassadors, and activists, Clinton underlined to never again allow the Taliban to impose “a reign of terror against women and girls.”
She continued, “This is not just morally wrong, this is dangerous, dangerous to every country represented here.”
Clinton also warned that if women were sidelined, the prospects for sustainable peace would be slim, noting “If society is torn apart and women pushed to the margins, it is more likely that terrorists will find a haven.”
“Women must be included, and women’s rights respected, as part of any peace negotiation in Afghanistan”, said Clinton.
In the meantime, Adela Raz, Afghanistan’s permanent envoy to UN, said in the meeting, “Like in other countries in political turmoil, the rights of AFG women & their position in society have been politicized & sacrificed. Knowing from past experience, the AFG women of today are not willing to compromise their future.”
Karen Pierce, UK’s Envoy to the UN, also demands “effective” and “meaningful” participation of Afghan women in the peace process.
“We expect to see the effective and meaningful participation in the peace process of women, as well as youth and other minorities. And while any peace deal is ultimately for afghans to decide upon, we affirm that it should protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all,” said Pierce.
Moreover, Rula Ghani, Afghanistan’s first lady, addressing the meeting through a video conference, said that Afghanistan was a free society where everybody enjoyed rightfully and knew their responsibilities; therefore, no decision would be made without the consent of the people, the women of Afghanistan.
One of the dilemmas in the intra-Afghan peace dialogues has been the active participation of women, and the protection of their rights, plus their achievements made through the last two decades, to be preserved in the pre- and post- peace process in Afghanistan.