President Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday in the grand conference of Afghan Women’s National Consensus on Peace that women have a vital role to play in the peace process, rebuking any prospects of excluding women from the process or compromising on their rights.
President Ghani said that women represent half of Afghan society, and it is impossible to downplay or disregard their legitimate concerns during the peace process. He also said that Afghan women can represent themselves, and no force can reverse their progress they made in the last 18 years. He insisted that Afghan men must embrace the unassailable fact that women have an integrative role to play in the peace process and future of Afghanistan, with absolutely no exception. He said that prolonging the vicious cycle of conflict is easy, but it requires diligence and commitment to establish a virtuous cycle of peace, stability and law and order.
The president reiterated that the Constitution regards men and women of Afghanistan equal, and as Commander-in-chief of the armed forces and head of the state, it is his responsibility to ensure women’s constitutional rights are not violated.
The event was organized by Afghan Women for Peace, Office of the First Lady, Afghan Women’s Network and High Peace Council. Over 3,500 women from all 34 provinces from all walks of life participated in the conference, and presented a Declaration voicing their concerns, and noting their suggestions for the peace process. This conference and the Declaration was as a result of 6 months of deliberation and consultations with over 15,000 women in all provinces. The Declaration chiefly demands an end to the war, upholding constitutional values and an inclusive peace process.