On 21st January 2014, AJO organized and held a roundtable meeting on “The Role of Women Post-2014 Afghanistan: Challenges and Opportunities” at the Institute Francais Afghanistan located at Estiqlal High School. The purpose of this roundtable was to bring together women leaders from diverse backgrounds to speak about Afghan women’s achievements and challenges during the transitional years and what the next Afghan government and its regional partners can do to consolidate women’s gains and help empower women to mitigate new challenges in the post-2014 period.
This roundtable served as a platform for women leaders representing the Afghan Parliament, media, academics and civil society to discuss and propose resolutions to increasing and embedding women’s involvement and influence in political, economic and security arenas. The roundtable discussions were facilitated by the following questions:
1. How have women’s productive, reproductive and community roles been impacted in the last 12 years of international peace-building?
2. What challenges has the political, economic and security transition processes created for women involved in these processes and those outside of the formal processes?
3. Can you identify efforts the next Afghan government can take to mitigate barriers preventing women from taking on greater roles and responsibilities, particularly in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the international community?
4. What type(s) of cross-border efforts should women in Afghanistan and Pakistan engage in jointly to further promote and ensure that women have substantial roles at all decision-making levels?
The roundtable meeting further will pursue its objective by preparing a policy note based on the findings and insights gathered in the event. This policy note will be disseminated to the Afghan government, civil society, media and all other local and international stakeholders.
This roundtable has been a follow-up to an earlier conference held in December 2012 and August 2013, with our facilitating partners, the Peace Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation in Islamabad, Pakistan, and the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN), in Washington D.C.