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FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): A number of women in western Ghor province say they fear the ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban could lead to a retreat from achievements of the past two decades such as democracy, freedom of speech and women’s rights.
The women say their activities in Ghor province are very limited compared to women in other provinces of the country.
They remember women’s sufferings under the Taliban regime and are they now worried the freedom they gained in the past two decades would be lost again if the Taliban return to power.
Jamila Karimi, head of Ghor Women’s Social and Growth Foundation, told Pajhwok Afghan News that women were worried about their rights and gains  because they were so far ignored in the peace talks.
“We have peace in cities, but only weapons and war rule our remote areas, if the peace talks fail and the Taliban take leadership of the country, it would endanger our achievements,” she said.
Nasrin, a schoolteacher in Ghor, said reemergence of the Taliban as rulers of this country would be very concerning for women.
“Women are seriously worried about Taliban’s comeback, if the ongoing negotiations fail, it may cause the loss of women’s rights, it would take us to an unknown future,” she said.
On the other hand, Ghor Women’s Affairs Director Halima Parestish said women were the most affected segment of the society during the ongoing war.
“Taliban imprisoned the Afghan women in their homes for over a decade and deprived this class of the society from an education and promotion, but we do not want to experience this bitter fate again,” she said.
She said women’s achievements should be considered in the peace talks and they should be given a role in these negotiations.
The Ghor provincial council also expressed concern that if women were abandoned in the peace talks and their views ignored, it would again push the gender back to the ‘black period’ when they had no right of even going out of home.
Gulsum Rezayee, a member of the Ghor provincial council, asked the warring sides to listen to women’s voices for peace and pay attention to their education and training of their children.
She said the government should give a role to women in the peace process and respect their views.
“Women tried to act boldly in all programs and processes and their presence should not be ignored, women’s demands and views should be considered,” Rezayee said.
Ghor governor Ghulam Naser Khazay said that women’s participation in the peace process was a key principle.
“Sworn enemies of Afghanistan by hiring mercenaries want bar Afghan women from their rights and social justice and they always ignored the voice of people for peace,” he added.
He called Taliban’s acts related to women as wrong and said members of the group were ossified and misogynistic and they barred women from all political, promotional, cultural and social activities.

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