Women Negotiators Amid Peace Talks


Islamic negotiator Fatima Gailani mentioned that girls had been apprehensive about negotiations with the Taliban.


4 Afghan ladies who endured the Taliban’s oppressive rule and have fought for fragile positive aspects because the terrorists had been ousted are going through the hardline group in peace talks.

Their presence on the negotiating desk is important in patriarchal Afghanistan, although they’re outnumbered by the remainder of the Afghan authorities’s crew of 17 males and the Taliban’s male-only aspect.

“The Taliban have to grasp that they’re going through a brand new Afghanistan with which they must study to reside,” negotiator Fawzia Koofi informed AFP forward of the talks, which acquired underway on Saturday.

The politician and high-profile ladies’s rights campaigner has survived two assassination makes an attempt throughout her profession — the most recent simply final month in Kabul.

“Being in such an necessary position is just not one thing which is quite common in Afghanistan, so you actually have to search out your method amongst these individuals who don’t consider in a lady’s presence,” Koofi mentioned earlier than the taking pictures.

When the Taliban dominated Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, her husband was jailed and he or she was threatened with stoning for carrying nail polish, she mentioned.

Non secular police whipped ladies on the street in the event that they wore something apart from an all-concealing burqa, and people accused of adultery had been generally executed at sports activities stadiums after Friday prayers.

At present, the standard patriarchal system stays the norm and life for most ladies in rural areas has improved little because the 2001 US-led invasion toppled the Taliban, who banned women from going to high school and ladies from working.

Nevertheless, in Kabul and different Afghan cities, progress has been made.

Some ladies examine at secondary and tertiary degree and maintain elected positions or run companies, albeit in disproportionately low numbers.

Koofi is one of some ladies who held unofficial talks with the Taliban in 2019 and is aware of the battle feminine negotiators are going through.

“It isn’t nearly what you might be speaking,” she mentioned. “Folks have a look at what you put on, whether or not your scarf is of the correct measurement or not.”

– ‘We all the time have worry’ –

Washington signed a cope with the Taliban in February committing to withdraw international forces in return for a pledge from the insurgents to carry talks with the Afghan authorities, geared toward ending the warfare.

After lengthy delays over a controversial prisoner swap, direct talks lastly opened within the Qatari capital Doha on Saturday.

Islamic legislation skilled and negotiator Fatima Gailani, 66, informed AFP that girls had been apprehensive about negotiations with the Taliban.

“Each girl in Afghanistan has a worry… we all the time have a worry that every time there are adjustments in Afghanistan and every time there’s a political change, all the time ladies are damage,” mentioned Gailani, a spokeswoman for the mujahideen towards the Soviets within the 1980s and former president of the Afghan Crimson Cross.

However she mentioned she has the assist of the lads on her crew, who “consider in precisely what I consider in”.

First, although, the talks ought to deal with “widespread values”, akin to Islam, and on attaining a ceasefire in Afghanistan’s battle, which has killed tens of hundreds and left hundreds of thousands displaced since 2001.

“I might like very a lot to see an Afghanistan the place you do not see your self in peril… If we do not obtain it now it’s going to by no means occur,” Gailani mentioned.

The Taliban have made solely obscure feedback about ladies’s rights, saying these can be protected by means of Islamic values.

One other negotiator, Habiba Sarabi, who was barred from working beneath Taliban rule and compelled to flee to Pakistan so she might proceed to show, desires to make sure Afghanistan stays a republic and never a Taliban-run “emirate” the place non secular legislation trumps constitutional rights.

The 62-year-old, who on her return to Afghanistan grew to become the nation’s first feminine provincial governor and has served as a minister twice, stays unconvinced that Taliban militants on the entrance line have modified, regardless of the group’s political leaders shifting to peace talks with the Afghan authorities.

“The fighters right here in Afghanistan have the identical ideology, they’ve the identical behaviour,” she mentioned.

On Saturday she informed AFP that the talks’ opening had been “very optimistic”.

The opposite girl on the negotiating crew is Sharifa Zurmati, a former broadcaster and native politician within the jap province of Paktia.

The crew beforehand had a fifth feminine member Shahla Fareed, a lawyer and ladies’s rights activist, however she is not within the delegation.

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)


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