Afghanistan: Kabul women fight for place at Taliban peace talks table

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Women in Kabul banded together to protest their exclusion from peace talks with the Taliban on the International Day of ‘1 Billion Rising’ on Thursday.
Protesters decried sexism, male violence against women and women’s exclusion from the peace process aimed at achieving a settlement to the 18-year-long war in Afghanistan, as part of the international ‘1 Billion Rising’ movement to empower women and girls.
Spokesperson for the Afghan Women’s Network, Maria Akrami, said the point of the protest was to send a message to Afghan men and particularly to the Taliban that women’s voices must be heard during the talks.
“We will not go back, we want to protect all our achievements, and they must recognise and listen to the women of Afghanistan and the youth of Afghanistan,” she said, adding: “They say that [the peace talks] should be between Afghans. I want to say clearly, Afghan doesn't mean all those men involved in war, fighting and killing, and destroying my country."
In December, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Tadamichi Yamamoto, called on barriers to women’s participation in the talks to be removed.
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