The Great Debate UK

from Afghan Journal:

Reintegrating the Taliban: where does it leave Afghan women?

At Thursday's London conference on Afghanistan, some 60 countries will to try flesh out the details for a plan to gradually hand security to Afghans, which involves strengthening and expanding Afghan security forces, improving the way donor aid to Afghanistan is spent and reintegrating Taliban fighters. But where do women fit into these plans, especially if the Taliban are to be involved?

The plan, which has been tried in the past without much success, would involve luring low-level Taliban from the insurgency using jobs and money to re-join Afghan society. There has also been much talk, particularly in the media, about the possibility of dialogue or negotiations with the Taliban.

But many Afghan women, who remember very clearly what life was like under the Taliban from 1996 to 2001, are outraged by the idea.

On Wednesday, groups representing Afghan women warned the international community against pursuing a peace deal with the Taliban. "I have great fears, and I am greatly confused ... 2001 was a very clear signal that there is no more room for conservative elements to rule in Afghanistan,"  Homa Sabri of the United Nation's agency for women, UNIFEM, told Reuters in London.

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