Amid Unrest, Afghan Women Push For Role in Peace Process

   •    October 17, 2014

This article was originally published by The Daily Beast.
Defying terror attacks and civil unrest during Afghanistan’s presidential runoff election, a courageous cohort of women from remote corners of the country came together in Kabul to pursue a common goal: gaining a serious role for women in building peace and stability.

The 21 women joined a four-day session led by the Afghan Women’s Network and The Institute for Inclusive Security to strengthen their advocacy and conflict resolution skills. The June workshop marked the end of an ambitious two-year initiative by both groups to advance female participation in Afghanistan’s peace process. To date, the program has trained 60 women from 12 of the country’s 34 provinces.

These are no ordinary women: They were chosen for their community leadership, and they have been tested in local, and sometimes national, conflicts during decades of warfare and bloodshed. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, women have taken up vital roles in security and rebuilding, from mediating tribal disputes to increasing access to justice.

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