"Negotiating sides' lack of commitment won't lead us to peace"

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HERAT: Women in western Herat province have criticized the Afghan negotiating sides for lack of commitment, voicing their concern that the status quo would either lead to no peace or a political deal that would deprive them of their rights.

At a gathering organized on Sunday, nearly 150 women from Herat city, the provincial capital, and districts gathered to state that their achievements in the peace process should not be neglected, urging the Afghan government and the US to adopt a clear approach in this regard.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) said that the Afghan government and the international community were monitoring the peace talks while keeping in view the rights of all Afghans.

Fatima Farahi and Feroza are Herati women who support the peace process; however, they fear that once peace is established, Afghan women should not be forced to back down and their rights should not be violated.

Sakina Khalil, a Herat-based civil society activist, said: “Before the peace talks, all Afghans were optimistic but as can be seen, the intensity of the fighting on the one hand and the lack of commitment to peace on the other would affect our achievements.”

Similarly, Alauddin Rahiq, a legal expert at IDLG, said they would take the Herati women’s message to the Presidential Palace and the government should make a decision based on the will of the people.

Experts say that the Afghan government has a constitutional obligation to respect women’s rights and privileges and pay due attention to Afghan women’s well-being, their lives, work, education, health and other areas.