A New Voice for Afghan Women
On April 4, 2011, the EastWest Institute and the Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention released a report exploring how to bolster the political role of Afghan women lawmakers, A New Voice for Afghan Women: Strengthening the Role of Women Lawmakers in Afghanistan.
The report is based on concrete recommendations made by more than 70 leading lawmakers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Muslim countries, as well as representatives from Europe and the U.S., convened by EWI and the Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention at an international conference hosted by the European Parliament on December 7, 2010.
“The conference was a rare chance for Afghan women politicians to tell their Western peers about the challenges they face,” said EWI’s Irina Bratosin, who wrote the report.
Those challenges are formidable: Ten years after the end of the Taliban regime, Afghan women can hold seats in parliament, but rarely take part in real decision making processes, particularly on peace and security. Without their participation in settlement talks with the Taliban, the report warns, women’s hard-won political rights could be “traded away.”