WAND’s Official Statement on Afghanistan (2013)
Adopted August 2013 by the WAND Education Fund and WAND, Inc. National Boards of Directors
In 2009, WAND Education Fund and WAND, Inc. stated that it could support additional forces in Afghanistan only if specific action steps and principles were implemented; security for Afghan women and girls, a reallocation of military spending to healthcare, education, and democracy building strategies, and an end to drone airstrikes and all bombing. (WAND Statement on Afghanistan 2009)
In May 2011, WAND Education Fund and WAND, Inc. urged: a transition from war-making to peace-building, a focus on diplomatic and political solutions, and measures to increase women’s representation in decision-making and diplomacy in post conflict peace building. (WAND Statement on Afghanistan 2011)
Now, WAND Education Fund and WAND, Inc. strongly support the Administration’s withdrawal of combat troops. Additionally, in accordance with the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (U.S. NAP), we greatly urge the President to outline a transition plan that asserts the role of women “as equal partners in all aspects of peace-building and conflict prevention, recognizing that achieving this goal is critical to our national and global security.”
WAND recommends that the U.S. government should ensure that:
- the women of Afghanistan are represented and that their priority concerns are fully reflected in all stages of the reconciliation talks and that gender parity is sought in negotiating teams, including peace jirgas; Afghan women should constitute no less than 25 percent of negotiation and transition teams in accordance with the Afghan Constitutional guarantee for women’s representation in Parliament;
- negotiated peace agreements affirm the constitutional guarantee of equality of men and women;
- concrete measures to prevent and respond to violence against Afghan women and girls address potential trends of violence leading up to, and following, the withdrawal of foreign troops;
- Afghanistan’s criminal justice system promotes and protects Afghan women and girls, including comprehensive trainings for the judiciary and police to implement international human rights standards and Afghan national laws such as the constitutional guarantee of equality for men and women; the 2008 National Action Plan for Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA); and the 2009 Law on Elimination of Violence against Women;
- female recruitment and retention increases within the Afghan National Security Forces, particularly in the Afghan National Police and investments should be made in gender sensitivity training to address the distinct needs of women and girls as outlined in the Afghan Women and Girls Security Promotion Act.
- international and foreign aid is directed to programs that support the ongoing political, economic and social advancement of Afghan women and girls, including gender parity in healthcare, education, and employment opportunity;
- the withdrawal of combat troops should include a complete elimination of drone strikes and night raids.