Baztab News

Editorial: Women in arms

12 Feb 2020 Afghanistan Times

Insecurity and political instability in a country facilitates a hot-bed for giving rise to many issues. Afghanistan has been struggling with such kinds of issues for a long time now. Last year, the issue of a pedophile ring being responsible for the abuse of hundreds of children in Logar schools sparked unrest among Afghans. In terms of children and women’s rights, Afghanistan is on its path to improvement but there is still need to be impressive strides on this front. In its latest report titled ‘Women in Afghan Security and Defense Forces’, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) revealed that over 14 percent of female officers who were interviewed had faced sexual harassment. Having interviewed around 2,300 women officers between 18-40 ages, who are serving in the military ranks, the rights watchdog attempted to find if there has been any violation of rights against this particular gender. According to the figures, 48.8 percent of the respondents claimed that they have unequal access to facilities, rights and privileges compared to their male counterparts. Over 4,000 women have been serving in the Afghan security forces, based on figures from the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) in 2016; however, the number has probably increased by now. On the other hand, the majority of the female army personnel (84.4%) felt safe at work regarding sexual harassment and abuse matters. Given this, one can say there has been some progress made with regard to women’s condition and public perception of them in the country. Back in the day, during the Taliban’s regime in the 1990s, there were severe restrictions imposed on this class of the society as they were even barred from going to schools, universities, and outing without a male partner. Nevertheless, with all this optimism about women’s presence in the Afghan military ranks, the uncertain marathon efforts for finding a political settlement to the ongoing war are still haunting Afghans. As the US has been engaged in peace negotiations with the Taliban for more than a year now, there are grave concerns about the possible violation of women’s rights and the achievements gained during the last two decades. In a recent development, the US Secretary of State has informed Afghan leaders about the Taliban’s proposal with regards to bringing a significant and enduring reduction in violence and that notable progress has been made in the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban. But where is the progress? Meanwhile, according to western media, US President Donald Trump has also accorded conditional approval to a peace agreement with the Taliban with circulating rumors suggesting that a US-Taliban peace deal is imminent and will be inked in the next couple of days. At this juncture, the critical question is: Has the matter of women’s presence been tabled in the peace parleys so far? Or are the negotiations only focused on a reduction in violence and US troop pullout? Moreover, if the issue of women-in-arms is going to be raised after the intra-Afghan dialogue gets underway, and then would the Taliban agree to it? These are some of the questions which need to be adequately heeded and addressed by the Afghan leaders.

Original Link:

Open Original News

More from Afghanistan Times

  • Editorial: The age of uncertainty 1 Day

    Around four decades back, when former Afghan President, Dr. Mohammad Najibullah was on power and Soviet Union was backing his government, Afghanistan had been triggered into a civil war – at a time when

  • Editorial: Ferocious jousting for power gets going 19 Feb 2020

    With the long-awaited final returns of the controversy and fraud-mired 2019 Presidential Election out, the incumbent President Ashraf Ghani has been declared as the winner as he narrowly secured victory

  • Electoral shellacking rumbles on amid an ‘unfinished business’ of peace 19 Feb 2020

    By Mujeeb Rahman Awrang KABUL: Afghanistan Presidential Election, which was held in last September, has been looming in drastic crisis since then. The almost five-month delayed result of the election was

  • Nabil hints at demise of democracy over flawed election 19 Feb 2020

    AT News KABUL: Former spymaster and presidential candidate, Rahmatullah Nabil said that “democracy has died in Afghanistan” after Independent Election Commission has declared President Ashraf Ghani

  • Govt.’s post-election political legitimacy in tatters 19 Feb 2020

    Election reflects a ‘blatant’ interference of foreigners; argues Karzai A pre- and post-election political divide is symbolic of a deeper crisis amid an opposition challenge of the poll results and

  • Election descends into chaos amid world’s silence 19 Feb 2020

    AT News KABUL: The political situation remains uncertain and perennially acrimonious before and after election authority put a seal on incumbent president Ghani’s re-election in 2019 presidential polls,

  • Watchdog dismisses election result as ‘poor decision’ 19 Feb 2020

    AT News KABUL: Election is not necessarily a win and lose game, but a holistic process that should be entirely lawful, as its results are embraced merely when electoral processes are chiefly characterized

  • Trump sanguine about a peace deal with Taliban 19 Feb 2020

    AT Monitoring Desk KABUL: US President Donald Trump has told reporters on Tuesday that there is a chance of making a deal with the Taliban, AP reported. “So, we are negotiating with the Taliban. We’ve

Latest News: