Afghan women fear the worst amidst possible peace talks
The Province reports that in the face of rumours that ‘high-level’ Taliban leaders are interested in a dialogue with the Afghan government, Afghan women fear the worst for their human rights.
Canada is scheduled to withdraw troops next summer, and the US next year – the Afghan army and police are currently unable to hold insurgents at bay by themselves. As such, negotiations with the Taliban are seen to hold promise for ending the nine year Afghan war.
But Lauryn Oates, a senior adviser to the Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, has said: “The Taliban have no intention of lessening their stance on the status of women. Their discriminatory policies and misogynistic beliefs are part of the core of their ideology. It’s not something I think they will be willing to negotiate on.”
Furthermore, Mark Sedra, a global security expert at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario, has said that Afghan women are right to be scared, and that he does not see a great willingness on the part of the Taliban to make serious compromises. Sedra does add, however, that the Afghan government and western backers could secure a deal which would require the Taliban to abide by the Afghan constitution, which guarantees women’s rights.
Whether this would translate into enforceable and policeable practice remains to be seen.
Murwaid Ziayee, Afghanistan director for Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, has said “our government always compromises human rights and women’s rights, and they will do it again.”