Demands of the “50% Campaign” to the International Afghanistan Conference

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January 27, 2010
Dieser offene Brief existiert auch auf Deutsch.

We all know Afghanistan. We all know well that the woman of this land have suffered under the Taliban, war, homelessness, and violence throughout many years. We shall not talk about the past, because a new chapter has begun and we, the women of Afghanistan, do not want to lose our basic human rights under any pretext. We do not intend to assign our right of self-determination to others.

During the second Presidential Election in Afghanistan, we in the 50% Campaign of the women clearly informed the country and the presidential candidates of our demands. We now declare to the delegates of the Afghanistan government and the international community at the London Conference who are seeking solutions that we expect them to stand by their obligations before the women of this country and to display their determination to deal with these demands.

The 50% Campaign of women of Afghanistan was established in 2009 by 70 social and civil activists, supported by various organizations, including the Armanshahr Foundation, National Union of Women in Afghanistan and the Political Participation Committee of Women of Afghanistan, and has won the support of more than 10,000 determined and informed men and women in different parts of the country. As representatives of half the population, we state our demands as follows:

To the Afghan Government:

  1. We women shall not support any non-transparent talks with the armed opponents of the government ignoring any of our human rights, for which we have fought for many years in the face of great dangers.
  2. Our country shall not achieve a comprehensive growth and development without women’s participation. Women’s political participation in decision making positions at the local, national, regional and international levels must take place not symbolically but in the full sense of the word in all areas, using all the capabilities, aptitudes and merits of women. Illiteracy is one of the greatest obstacles blocking progress and fruition of activities geared to lasting development and social and economic improvement in the conditions of citizens and preventing their active participation in politics. We call on the government to give top priority to public mobilization against illiteracy in the next five years by allocating sufficient funding and making optimum use of the national human power capacity, and raising the quality and the number of educational centers, in particular for women.
  3. Prepare a national plan in cooperation with the civil society to establish truth-seeking and justice commissions on the national level and plan for bringing justice to the victims (reparations and recognition of the losses suffered by the victims).
  4. Establish a national and well-reputed national commission with adequate power to implement the National Plan for Transitional Justice and to enforce the government’s Plan for Peace, Reconciliation and Justice in Afghanistan.
  5. To provide national and economic security in the society and eliminate violence against women, it is necessary to establish legal and lawful security for women and to endeavor to abolish the discriminatory laws and to enhance a just judiciary.
  6. Wars, migration and acts of nature in this country have left millions of fatherless children and widows, who head their families. The government’s economic and social plans must give top priority to efforts directed at creating job- and self-employment opportunities for female heads of families, invalids and the disabled.
  7. Mother’s health would guarantee health of the child and the society. Special measures should be taken to improve access of mothers to health and sanitary facilities.

To the international community and participants at the International Conference

  1. Do not support non-transparent talks with armed and belligerent forces. We are concerned that human rights of women might be sacrificed again.
  2. Accountability and adherence to international military law; preventing the killing of civilians, most of them being women and children; establishing transparency in the legal framework of operations of the coalition forces.
  3. The international community must recommit to the full implementation of the Action Plan for Justice, Reconciliation and Peace, including concerted action towards making the Advisory Panel meaningful and productive.
  4. Recognize the relationship between impunity and persistent human rights violations that undermine efforts to achieve poverty reduction, equitable and sustainable socioeconomic development and democratization.
  5. Support fundamental improvements in women’s life through establishment of the ground for their employment, autarky, and economic independence.
  6. Emphasize and support anti-illiteracy plans.
  7. Support gender-sensitive plans and projects.
  8. Growth and development of Afghanistan will only be possible with consideration for social justice, human rights, and democracy. Therefore, we call on the international community to give full support to women’s rights in all areas.

List of organizations supporting the 50% Campaign:

  • Political Participation Committee of Women of Afghanistan
  • National Union of Women of Afghanistan
  • Armanshahr Foundation
  • Human Rights Education Centre for Women
  • Civil Society Assembly of Afghanistan
  • Solidarity for Justice Institute
  • Women’s World periodical
  • daily 8 Sobh
  • Today’s Afghan Woman Institute
  • Social-Cultural Studies Centre
  • Salam Institute
  • Kabul Young People’s Centre
  • Institute for Support of Destitute Women of Afghanistan
  • Nawa Institute
  • Peace Outlet for Women of Afghanistan
  • Afghan Women toward Development
  • Sorush Mellat periodical