Afghanistan: Advancing Peace, Inclusion and Prosperity
Women in Afghanistan
Decades of ongoing war and conflict have severely impacted the peace, freedom and mental and physical health of women in Afghanistan.
Rates of gender-based violence, domestic abuse, and forced marriage are among the highest in the world. Afghan women also face significant barriers to education, with less than half of Afghan girls enrolled in school and a literacy rate of just 12% among women and girls.
These realities are profoundly impacting women’s well-being in Afghanistan. Women represent approximately 80% of all deaths by suicide in the country – one of the only nations in the world in which women die by suicide at a higher rate than men.
Overview of WILPF’s Work in Afghanistan:
Established in 2015, WILPF Afghanistan is devoted to working with women, men and young people to advance the role of women in Afghan society, promote peace-building programmes and develop women’s active social, economic and political participation for a future of inclusion and prosperity.
WILPF Afghanistan is also deeply committed to working with community members to prevent gender-based violence and to promote environmental initiatives that improve the health and security of all citizens of Afghanistan.
WILPF Afghanistan is led by Jamila Afghani, a leading activist and human rights defender committed to building a culture of feminist peace in the nation. Read our recent Q&A with Jamila and watch the video below to learn more about the work of WILPF in Afghanistan.
WILPF Afghanistan’s Focus Areas:
WILPF Afghanistan has three key focus areas: advocacy, environment and disability.
WILPF Afghanistan is committed to advancing positive change for women by promoting their active participation in Afghan society and empowering them to become involved in the global movement for peace, freedom and justice.
In a submission from February 2020 to the 75th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, WILPF Afghanistan laid out a series of recommendations for the inclusion of women in political and public life, electoral
processes, peace talks and the prevention of gender-based violence against women and girls in the country. Read the full submission.
WILPF Afghanistan actively promotes and supports women-led efforts to help reverse the destruction of Afghanistan’s natural landscapes and the health impacts of pollution resulting from years of war and limited economic resources.
In 2019, the group organised a major tree-planting initiative that engaged women school teachers to lead the planting of 10,000 trees throughout Afghanistan together with their students and community members. Learn more about the initiative.
2.5 million adults in Afghanistan live with severe disabilities and 50% of them are women. With women already facing numerous barriers to social and cultural inclusion as well as to mental and physical health resources, those living with a disability are a lot more likely to suffer exclusion and a poor quality of life.
WILPF Afghanistan is dedicated to advocating for policy changes that will enhance protections and supports for women and all persons living with disabilities in Afghanistan.
WILPF Afghanistan and the Peace Process
Peace talks have long been a focus of attention for civil society organisations in Afghanistan in an attempt to bring and end to the conflict. However, women — who are disproportionately impacted by the conflict — have had almost no role in formal talks.
In July 2019, Jamila Afghani, leader of WILPF Afghanistan, was one of 10 female delegates at the Intra-Afghan talks in Doha, Qatar.
If you want to learn more about the need for women to be at the centre of sustainable peace strategies in Afghanistan, read a 2019 editorial by Jamila Afghani in our WPS Monitor.
- Read WILPF Afghanistan’s full submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
- WILPF Afghanistan Submission to UPR of Afghanistan (December 2018)
- Afghan Women’s Network (AWN). Afghan Women Concerned over the U.S.-Taliban Agreement, 7 September 2019.
- WILPF, “WPS Monitor: A Woman’s Place is at the Peace Table”, 24 June 2019
- Afghan Women’s Network (AWN). Recent Developments in the Peace talks Concern Afghan Women.