PEACE JIRGA (GUEST) BLOG 7: The first day of the peace jirga
Chevening Scholar (International Development Law and Human Rights) and civil society activist, Wazhma Frogh, reports on the first day of the Afghanistan Peace Jirga.
Many women among some 400, who constitute around 21 % of the Jirga participants, were enraged over the selection of these men to lead the Jirga and over the overall lack of active participation of women in the agenda and scope of the gathering. Although civil society groups and women's rights activists have been lobbying for inclusion of women's concerns and perspectives in the scope and agenda of the Jirga, today's proceedings didnt reflect women's concerns. The opening session was entirely occupied by men's speeches and there was almost no mention of the importance to secure women's achievements in the speeches of the leadership of the Jirga. The working groups were almost all led by men team leaders with women as administrative deputees.
Participation is not just about filling the empty seats, but also about being able to shape the discussions and agenda according to the needs and concerns of the Afghan women.