UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women and peace and security was adopted in the year 2000. This resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping and post-conflict resolution. It asks that signatory countries ensure the equal participation of women in these activities, and a commitment to protect women from gender-based violence, particularly rape and sexual abuse, in times of conflict.
This resolution is critical in a country like Afghanistan, where there has been ongoing conflict for over 40 years, including 10 years since NATO launched a mission in the country, and where women can make a significant contribution in establishing peace in the country. Development and Peace’s long-time partner the Afghan Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC) is working towards increasing the participation of women in Afghan society and improving their status through various programmes. Recently, Mrs. Maryam Rahmani, Country Representative for AWRC, was invited to the United Nations as part of a delegation of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders to make presentations on the civil society monitoring of Resolution 1325 in Afghanistan, including a panel discussion organized by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN. She also made a brief presentation to the President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly and one at the UN Church Centre, where Caritas Internationalis has a permanent delegate.
Afghanistan does not yet have an action plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325, however, the AWRC has integrated its pillars into the planning of its programs and is helping the country to move towards adopt one. “Women are always key in building peace in any part of the world. In Afghanistan, it is women who have suffered throughout the war. They were widowed, they lost their husbands, brothers and sons, they face many forms of violence, including physical violence, and they have been deprived of education and work. They can understand very well how much peace is important for Afghanistan and how it would affect their own lives,” explains Maryam.