In addition to education programs delivered through our office in Kabul, CW4WAfghan operates a chapter network of members across Canada, with eight chapters located in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.
Tell us about your work on WPS
Our Afghanistan Policy Dialogue program promotes the centrality of Afghan women’s voices, views, and experiences to peacebuilding, at a time when women’s rights and public participation are under threat in current negotiations with the Taliban.
Share a highlight of your work on WPS issues
It has been a busy year since the official establishment of our Afghanistan Policy Dialogue program! We recently launched an Advocacy Toolkit which includes resources for concerned Canadians to engage as global citizens in support of the protection of Afghan women’s rights, particularly the right to education. We also regularly host events which aim to amplify the voices and work of Afghan women peacebuilders, including two parallel sessions to the 65th UN Commission on the Status of Women. We are mobilizing networks in Canada and internationally in this fight for women’s meaningful inclusion in Afghanistan’s negotiations for a peaceful future.
Who do you admire in the WPS field?
We admire and are inspired on a daily basis by the many Afghan women’s rights activists who we have had the privilege to work with, and who have worked tirelessly and bravely for years beyond the headlines to assert their rights and ensure a secure, peaceful and inclusive future for all Afghans.
What have you read recently that you would like to recommend to Network members?
The discussions and resources shared on Afghan Twitter are a regular source of learning for us in our efforts to amplify Afghan voices. It’s a great place to learn about current developments in Afghanistan, the importance of a gender lens to peacebuilding, and daily lived experiences in a country where civilians are exhausted by conflicts to which they are subject, but haven’t had a part in shaping. Some of our favorites for providing both analysis and sharing stories from Afghans themselves include: Shaharzad Akbar (@ShaharzadAkbar), Chair of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Wazhma Frogh (@FroghWazhma) of the Women and Peace Studies Organization, and Samira Hamidi (@HuriaSamira) of Amnesty International.
If you could make one recommendation on WPS issues to Prime Minister Trudeau, what would it be?
Canada has been one of the most consistent supporters of for development aid to Afghanistan. We believe that with their stated commitment to a Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Government of Canada has both a vital role to play and a responsibility in helping to protect women’s rights and ensure women’s inclusion in every stage of the ongoing conflict negotiations.