Afghanistan

Bamyan group urges UN support for national action plan on women, peace and security

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24 January 2012 – A Bamyan advocacy group is calling on the United Nation to support the creation of an action plan in Afghanistan to implement Security Council Resolution 1325 which draws attention to the inordinate impact of war on women and urges their full participation in conflict management and peace efforts.

In official correspondence sent to President Hamid Karzai and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the local 1325 Advocacy Group urged the creation of a National Action Plan to “protect women’s rights, deal with and tackle challenges and make the ground to secure human rights of Afghan women in the country.”

“We also ask the UN and other UN relevant bodies to take the international obligations of Afghanistan Government serious(ly) and support Afghan Government and Afghan civil society through strategic and sustainable cooperation with them,” the Advocacy Group wrote.

The message was reiterated in a meeting last week between the Advocacy Group and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in Bamyan. The meeting was the first for the Advocacy Group and UNAMA since the international conference on Afghanistan held on 4 and 5 December 2011 in Bonn, Germany.

The Advocacy Group expects to have their proposals considered at the international conference scheduled for this year in Chicago, United States, and in Tokyo, Japan, according to Amena Hassapur, a member of the Advocacy Group. She was a participant at Bonn and met directly with Secretary-General Ban and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Group’s main concern is the role of women following the transition set for the end of 2014.

As some other women’s rights groups, the Group is concerned that the progress made may be reversed if women’s issues take a backseat in political discussions.

Protection of vulnerable women, particularly abused, addicted and imprisoned women, widows and those suffering from war trauma will be the focus for the Group’s activities this year.

The Advocacy Group, a sub-group of the Bamyan chapter of the Afghanistan-wide Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CS & HRN), has a core group of 10 women activists selected across sectors to provide strategic and policy guidance. They include the heads of the Department of Women’s Affairs (DOWA), Independent Election Commission (IEC), Deputy Chair of the Provincial Council and representatives of the Afghan Independence Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

The 1325 Advocacy Group also has 100 identified members who have received regular training of up to four workshops per month in 2011 on topics including UN SCR 1325, women’s political rights, human rights and gender issues.

By UNAMA Bamyan