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Engaging the Taliban On Muslim Women’s Rights

By: | posted on: Jul 16, 2019

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Date(s) - 07/16/2019
10:00 am - 11:30 am

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United States Institute of Peace

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Side Event During the Religious Freedom Ministerial in Washington D.C.

Engaging the Taliban On Muslim Women’s Rights

On July 16th 2019, from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM, the U.S Institute of Peace, in collaboration with the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality (WISE), Women for Afghan Women (WAW), and Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) – will host a roundtable discussion on the critical issues and outcomes of an inclusive peace process with the Taliban, to ensure the religious rights of all Afghan women are protected under an agreement.

Over the past year, the U.S. has been engaged in ongoing talks with the Taliban towards a political settlement to the eighteen year war. Recent developments, including the most recent round of talks between the U.S and Taliban, and the intra-Afghan dialogue facilitated by Germany, signify a potential opportunity for momentum towards a comprehensive peace process in the near future. Despite these promising developments, there is great uncertainty and concern about the inclusion of women in the peace process, and that women’s rights as articulated under the current constitution will be protected. The Taliban have indicated that a framework of women’s rights will be upheld, provided they are founded upon Islamic thought and jurisprudence. However, there are diverse opinions and interpretations and Afghan women should have the right of their religious freedom to follow. This presents our urgent opportunity.

In this rapidly moving, complex, and uncertain time for Afghanistan it is crucial to ensure that women’s voices and concerns are an integral part of the peace process. It is imperative to determine how the outcomes of a potential political settlement will affect women’s rights, particularly religious freedom and expression.

Please join us July 16th on a discussion on religious freedom of Afghan women in the context of the peace process. The discussion will focus on how the potential outcomes of an Afghan peace process may influence and impact women’s religious freedom, and what steps can be taken now to facilitate an engaging and productive dialogue with the Taliban on religious freedom. Special emphasis will be given to demonstrate how women’s rights are enshrined within the Qur’an, and fall under the six objectives of Islamic Law (Shari’ah) – the right to religion (al-din), life (al-nafs), mind (al-‘aql), family (al-nasl), wealth (al-mal), and dignity (al-‘ird) – just as they are consistent with the secular human rights and provisions outlined by the UN’s CEDAW.

Speakers include Daisy Khan (Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality), Palwasha Kakar (United States Institute of Peace), Palwasha Hassan (Afghan Women’s Network), Belquis Ahmadi (Women for Afghan Women/ U.S Institute of Peace)

Invited guests will include ambassadors from key Muslim majority countries of Asia and the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Indonesia, and representatives of the Organization of Islamic Countries.

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