Asila Wardak, the Director of Human Rights and Women’s Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Jawida Ahmadi lecturer of Journalism faculty at Kabul University and women affairs activist. Shahla Farid, lecturer of Faculty of Law at Kabul University, writer and women right activist, were representing Afghanistan women in the conference. Afghan women delegation presented a comprehensive presentation about UN – resolution 1325, and the role of women in Peace and Security Operation in Afghanistan in the conference which was warmly welcomed by the participants.
Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari, welcomed the participants of the 10th anniversary of UN-resolution 1325 Conference and underlined that Afghan women are not in the position that they were before, certainly they are the leading figures in the decision making of Afghanistan government. Despite all the challenges that the Afghan Government faces in the course of security and political aspects, it has always endeavored to involve Afghan women at all levels of national, regional and international decision making. Recently in peace negotiation with the Taliban, the government of Afghanistan has emphasized we are not ready to compromise with insurgents on women’s rights. Therefore, eight members of the Peace High Council are women to ensure women rights and interest during peace negotiation and to include them in important national decisions. Ambassador Bakhtari also mentioned: “Much has been done, but of course it is not enough, the women in Afghanistan have a long way to go.”
Ine-Marie Eriksen Søreide, Norwegian Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense addressed the UN-resolution 1325 and the Norwegian engagement in Afghanistan. She emphasized that the United Nations Security Council should take solid action against women violence. She added: “to solve the problem of gender inequality in Afghanistan the international community should involve extra Afghan women in every executive sector in Afghanistan.”
Asila Wardak, the Director of Human Rights and Women’s Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan highlighted the ‘effectiveness of UN resolution 1325 on lives of women in Afghanistan’. Asila Wardak said: “In past years Afghan women have achieved a lot, there are too many to count but I am going to name a few of them i.e. Establishment of Ministry Women Affairs, ratification of the ‘Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women’ by government of Afghanistan, increased number of women in every male dominated sectors such as Afghan National Army and Police forces. She added: “Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan has established a unit to aware Afghan women about the UN resolution 1325 by arranging workshops and seminars among different society sectors.”
Jawida Ahmadi, lecturer of Journalism faculty at Kabul University and women affairs activist expressed her views on women’s role in media in Afghanistan. She said: “Media can be use as the only source that Afghan women in Afghanistan can get their voice all over the world. She added: “As 87% of women in Afghanistan are facing discrimination and domestic violence, International community should help the women to have their own media. At the moment 25 television channels, over 100 radio stations and 400 newspapers are active in Afghanistan, women resources in the media are very limited comparing to media resources existing in Afghanistan.
Shahla Farid, lecturer of Faculty of Law at Kabul University, writer and women right activist shared her concerns about ‘Traditional law in Afghanistan’ such as jirgas, which are completely male dominated. Shahla Farid, thanked the International community for helping Afghan women, and said that International community mostly focus on women issues in Afghanistan’s biggest cities while they have to be more active in rural areas where majority of Afghan populations live.
At the second part of the Conference the participants were invited to a panel discussion. In the discussion panel, Patricia Benedict Flakstad, Chairman of NATO`s Committee on Gender Perspectives, addressed the Status – Implementing 1325 in NATO. Bjørg Skotnes, Director Peace, Gender and Democracy Department of NORAD focused on, ‘how do the Norwegian forces work with UN-resolution 1325 in Afghanistan?’ At the end Lieutenant Colonel, Lena P. Kvarving, Gender Advisor at the Norwegian Defense Staff College explained the Implementation of UN-resolution 1325 in the Norwegian Armed Forces.