The Interfaith perspective in realizing the Role of Women Peacemakers in the...

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This year Selay Ghaffar, Executive Director of HAWCA, was actively involved in national and international level to bring into the notice of the policy makers and government the importance of UNSCR 1325 as an obligation to implement it through a National Action Plan to ensure women condition are improving in the country.  As part of the commemoration of 1325 she also got the opportunity to go the Jakarta-Indonesia to attend the Asian Women Peacemakers conference on UNSCR 1325: "The Interfaith perspective in realizing the Role of Women Peacemakers in the Implementation of UNSCR 1325”. The two days conference was organized by MWPN, Komnas Perempuan, WPP-IFOR supported by ICCO, Cordaid and Oxfam Novib in collaboration with Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia.

The participants form 8 selected countries in Aisa namely; Afghanistan, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka and Diaspora organizations in Netherlands came together on 29-30th September, 2010 to address the following questions:

•    How far the resolution 1325 is being implemented in Asia and in Europe? How can we reach-out the mass majority to raise consciousness on the advantage of the resolution 1325?
•    What are the experiences in 8 participating countries in the implementation of the resolution 1325 in an interfaith context? What is the role of diaspora organizations in the implementation of 1325? What are the opportunities and challenges in the implementation both in Asia as well as in Europe?  How the partner organizations in the south can work together with the diaspora organizations towards the full implementation of resolution 1325? 

The conference mainly discussed the three Ps of the UNSCR 1325:
1. Protection: Violence Against Women/HR
2. Promotion: Capacity Building for Women at different Levels
3. Participation: Women’s participation and presentation in politics and public administration

The conference three panels which were: On 1325 and interfaith approach; VAW and Resolution 1820, political participation and empowering the women; and lessons and challenges in the field and the interfaith approach. The Executive Director of HAWCA addressed the audience in highlighting the most challenges faced by afghan women. She shared with the participants how difficult for an Afghan woman is to stand and asks for her basic right in the country? She showed high concern in regard to violence against women in education, health and employment spheres. Beside that security and weak government with presence of warlords were appointed as another challenge on the way to women empowerment and political participation. She emphasized that despite many efforts taken from the civil society, NGOs and INGOs yet there has been no strong mechanism to protect women in the country. Though HAWCA and some other NGOs are currently running safe houses around the country to protect the violence survivors and increase access of women to justice still it is like a drop in a river. During her speech she also highlighted that civil society and women activists with the support of international community became able to represent a very small percentage in London conference, National Consultative Counsel and Kabul Conference which is all part of the peace and reconciliation processes of Afghanistan. At the end she end up her speech by saying the without women participation peace is incomplete and peace without justice is doesn’t mean peace. 

At the end of the day she was questioned by many journalists in a press conference immediately followed after the panel: What steps HAWCA has take so far to improve the life condition of women and protect women from violence? What does peace mean for afghan women? Do you think women can be good peace makers? How you can say that religion is not rejecting 1325?