In today’s Afghanistan, despite the rhetoric of progress in women´s access to their fundamental rights, women continue to face daily threats and trauma; these include the repercussions of conflict related violence and death, endemic gender based violence, and more recently the effects of COVID 19 falls disproportionately on their shoulders. Now, more than any time in recent Afghan history, the Afghan government must commit to real action in order to realize the essential goal of transforming the lives of Afghan women to guarantee their equal but meaningful participation in political peace building. The government’s commitment in this area was first articulated in July, 2015, with the adoption of the National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 and reaffirmed in June 2019 with the adoption of the Second National Action Plan. However, despite apparent activity at the national level, evidence collected through the work of non-governmental organizations, including Medica Afghanistan – Women Support Organization (MA-WSO), demonstrates that at the community level – in most districts across Afghanistan; Afghan women are not able to focus on issues related to political peace while struggling for their own survival and wellbeing and that of their children and families.
This article will therefore present an overview of the linkages between violence and war torn countries and will discuss the views and perspectives of various Afghan women regarding the meaning of ‘peace’. The women emanate from five provinces (Baghlan, Herat, Kabul Mazar and Samangan) and have been clients of Medica Afghanistan, receiving legal assistance and other support from this dynamic organization. Through a random sampling, 1176 clients were interviewed in person, taking into consideration their age group, gender, educational and economic backgrounds.
Medica Afghanistan – Women Support Organization (MA-WSO) is a women led organization for women in Afghanistan, extending legal aid and psycho-social services for women in five provinces since 2002. For further information refer to website: www.medicaafghanistan.org .Click here