National Declaration

 Afghan Women’s National Consensus for Peace

 

Introduction 

Women are messengers of peace.

But, war is a tragedy, the mere existence of which, during the last four decades, has caused many losses to Afghan society. The continuous insecurity and hopelessness caused by war has led women from all ethnic and linguistic groups across Afghanistan come together to unify their voices to demand peace.

This consensus is taking place as a continuation of other grassroots movements for peace, and for the realization of women’s demands in these movements, which are engagement and coordination of women from the provinces and the capital in regards to peace. These people’s movements will continue until Afghanistan reaches a lasting peace.

Based on this, following the women’s consensus gathering held in Kabul on August 15, 2018, over 15,000 women from the other 33 provinces subsequently shared their perspectives and demands for peace through various consensus gatherings. Hence, women, as responsible citizens of this country, have come together at the Afghan Women’s National Consensus for Peace from all 34 provinces of Afghanistan to declare their concerns about and demands for peace.

  1. We, Afghan women, request the government, Taliban, and other armed opponent groups to immediately put a stop to war and declare an unconditional ceasefire.
  2. We, Afghan women, strongly support any grassroots movements and government initiatives toward reaching a permanent peace, and stress the importance of the continuation of all other grassroots movements for peace in Afghanistan that are aimed at reaching permanent peace.
  3. We, Afghan women, believe in the power of our influence and request that all women in Afghanistan, as the main nurturers of society, promote peaceful behavior based on humane values within families, schools, mosques, madrasas, universities, and through social media, so as to effectively change the mindset of insurgents.
  4. We, Afghan women, demand that the government create a lasting and stable peaceful environment through incorporating topics related to peace in the education curriculum, by creating jobs for youth, and by implementing the rule of law. This will result in the elimination of the culture of impunity, violence, unemployment and corruption, which are the main drivers of insecurity.
  5. We, Afghan women, consider the abuse of power by responsible and irresponsible armed individuals and local militias as one of the main reasons for insecurity, and request the government to implement the rule of law throughout the provinces of Afghanistan by legally confronting them and disarming them immediately, in order to create an atmosphere of peace and stability.
  6. According to the fatwas of Islamic religious leaders the world over, war between Muslims is not religiously permitted. While we support the efforts of the Ulemas in enlightening the public, we Afghan women call upon them to promote national unity and co-existence, and the resolution of conflict through dialogue and negotiation, for the purpose of preserving both religious and national values and identity.
  7. The Afghan Constitution is our national compact and the basis of our national identity, which ensures the civic, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of each citizen. Therefore, a peace that is in compliance with the Constitution and preserves the government system/institutions, territorial integrity of the country and the achievements of the last one and half decades is the only acceptable kind of peace.
  8. We, Afghan women, condemn any effort for the establishment of an interim government and strongly demand for a just and transparent elections for the protection of government systems and values of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
  9. We, Afghan women, request the government to support the families of the martyred security forces and victims of war, and to take immediate and serious action to strengthen supportive mechanisms that address their needs.
  10. We, Afghan women, welcome any development in the peace process, but strongly emphasize negotiations between Afghans under the leadership of the government with the ownership of the Afghan people (men and women). We demand that the government, whose main duty is to ensure peace, security, and social justice participate in the negotiations from a position of authority and dignity while keeping in mind the viewpoint of different groups of people.
  11. We, Afghan women, call upon all national and international media outlets, who mainly reflect the consequences of war and its negative impacts on the life and minds of the people, to also report on the achievements of the Afghan people over the last one and half decades and capture the true voice of women for peace.
  12. We, women of Afghanistan, based on the principle of good relations between neighbors, call upon the neighboring and regional countries to refrain from intervening in Afghan internal matters and support an Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process.
  13. While welcoming the efforts of the international community in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan, we Afghan women expect them to genuinely support a peace process that is led by the Afghan government and owned by the Afghan people, and firmly adhere to their commitment to protecting democratic, civil and human rights.
  14. We, Afghan women, want to reach a durable peace; to that end, we want movements for peace to be continued and expanded from the provincial centers to all districts and villages.
  15. We, Afghan women, request the government negotiating team to fully defend our rightful and legitimate demands mentioned above at every stage of the peace process, and prevent any type of compromise that undermines the achievements of women.

 

This declaration, with an introduction and 15 articles, which gives the opinions and recommendations of women from all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, is hereby approved and endorsed.

May God Bless

Kabul, Thursday, February 28, 2019