President Ashraf Ghani, who addressed a gathering of at least 2,000 women from around the country, stressed the need for preserving women’s rights in the peace process and said the issue should be given a special attention during the upcoming grand assembly on peace in Kabul.
Delegates in the women’s national conference at Loya Jirga tent in Kabul discussed peace and ways to preserve women’s rights in the process.
Ghani called the event a historic day and said women are a force of positive change in the country.
“You are no longer victims of decisions on the future of Afghanistan,” Ghani reiterated. “No one can impose peace on us. A peace which is not sustainable is rejected.”
Ghani also stressed the need for holding the upcoming elections and said the polls will prove significant for strengthening a democratic system in the country.
He said Afghans are living as responsible citizens under the Constitution and that women’s message to Afghan forces is that they are protecting the Constitution.
Other speakers at the event said the agenda and the manner of presentations in the peace Jirga should be inclusive, diverse and respectful.
“All Afghans are demanding peace and today’s event is also aimed at ending the war,” the First Lady Rula Ghani said.
She said the event was initiated by her office, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Afghan Women Network, and Afghan civil society.
The first lady said women form the main pillar of the Afghan society and that their voice must be heard; therefore, she said, the conference on the Afghan Women National Consensus for Peace was convened.
This comes as US negotiators and Taliban held talks on peace for the fifth time in the last four months.
The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Thursday that the meetings in the last three days with the group’s members in Doha were “productive”.
The four main topics of US-Taliban talks in Qatar have been US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, ensuring that Afghanistan’s territory is not used as a threat to any other country, a comprehensive ceasefire and direct talks with the Afghan government. This was confirmed by the Afghan government as well as by sources ahead of the talks.
Taliban and the US peace negotiators in Doha are taking a two-day break after “extensive” discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday on counterterrorism and US troops withdrawal, the Taliban said in a statement on Thursday.