Amnesty 11   no women no peace


One Afghan woman was protesting on the eve of the NATO summit, being held in Newport, Wales (UK), to draw attention to the absence of women in key peace talks and global security negotiations. Samira Hamidi of the Afghan Women’s Network:


 “NATO needs to hear this message loud and clear; Afghan women must be at the table.


 There are so many capable women ready to take the important decisions needed to shape our country’s future. We don’t want these matters being decided for us behind closed doors.”


At the NATO summit this week, the future of training and support for Afghanistan is on the agenda. This will have significant implications for millions of Afghan women. However, when Afghanistan's security is discussed at the NATO summit, the voices of Afghan women will once again be worryingly absent, campaigners warned. So far, it is not clear whether any high-level women will be in attendance at the discussions.


Afghan women’s activists, Amnesty International and ‘No Women No Peace’, are calling on NATO member governments to ensure that discussions about women’s roles in Afghanistan’s developing security institutions are on the summit agenda, with specific commitments to increase the number and effectiveness of women at all levels of the Afghan National Security Forces. 


Campaigners believe that some recent positive efforts risk being undermined by the absence of women at the summit. Statements by NATO were made recently about the importance of women’s security being discussed at global summits and how vital it was that women contributed to those discussions. This summit was the first opportunity to realise those commitments, but campaigners say those recent promises have now been betrayed. Women and security is not due to be specifically discussed, and women are not there to input into the discussions. 


Hasina Safi, Executive Director of the Afghan Women’s Network:


 “Nobody has greater insight into the security challenges facing Afghanistan than Afghan women themselves. The Afghan Women’s Network recently consulted hundreds of women who have got plenty to say about security and the role of the Afghan national forces.”


“If you ask them, Afghan women will describe how violence impacts their lives in every sphere, but they also have solutions for how to overcome these challenges. The message from the women of Afghanistan is this; NATO should talk to me, not just about me.”





‘No Women, No Peace’ 


The ‘No Women, No Peace’ campaign is a coalition including ActionAid, Amnesty International UK, Oxfam GB, Womankind Worldwide and Women for Women International. The campaign is run by these organisations under the Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) network who promote women’s rights in Afghanistan.