Press Release

March 17, 2021

On March 14, 2021, a statement entitled “The Position of Afghan Women regarding the US Proposal for Peace in Afghanistan” was issued by the Afghan Women’s Network. In this position, names of several institutions, trends, and active civil society networks, such as “MyRedLine,” are also mentioned. We, on behalf of our comrades, colleagues, and peers in the “MyRedLine” campaign, oppose this and state our reasons for taking this stand: 

– The main issue of this stand is totalitarianism in claiming full representation of Afghan women. We want to know this position’s mechanism. Our collective and historical memory – women – is the only reliable source for recording Afghanistan’s contemporary history. Therefore, no address other than us – women – as the primary victims of the conflict and attacks by the Taliban and other hostile forces, has the authority to forgive these criminals. Any stance and decision on behalf of women first require consultation with them, especially with the war victims and the injured families. A process that should and could achieve women’s rights because the scars of terror and darkness of the Taliban are still fresh on our mothers’ bodies, souls, and women of this land yet have not found an ointment. 

– Custom western and eastern designs are not practical in Afghanistan. Our suggestion is to refer to human capital and internal capacities by announcing national calls instead of focusing on external plans. The people themselves must be involved in designing the transition to political stability in the country. Therefore, the position of the “Afghan Women’s Network” against the US plan is a kind of service and recognition of interfering and illegitimate foreign policies towards the fate of the people and especially the women of the country. In support of the new US plan, the Afghan Women’s Network’s position effectively introduces a heterogeneous composition called the “Supreme Council of Islamic Jurists” as the cause of changes in the future system. On the other hand, this position’s publication is a costly and hasty step announced before Afghanistan’s government’s official position. 

  • – The Taliban’s views have not changed, and this group is still considered violent, criminal, and extremist. The scale and intensity of the war and targeted killings have increased across Afghanistan. The notion that the so-called “Supreme Council of Islamic Jurisprudence” guarantees women’s rights or expecting the Taliban to abide by the international human rights conventions is nothing but a crude and naive fantasy. We believe that trusting the Taliban’s ideological soldiers is a betrayal of the interests of the people. The necessity of today’s Afghanistan is by no means a return to the human regression of authoritarian and radical religious systems such as the Taliban. 

  • – Afghanistan is in crisis on all sides. The idea of establishing a political, social, and economic system that upholds the values, needs, and people-oriented and democratic doctrine is now more under threat than ever before. In situations like these, more than haste and panic in announcing positions, we need to focus on the mobilization, and cohesion of capacities, movements, and independent forces of the people, especially women, to actively and effectively participate in the process of transition to peace. While taking these irresponsible positions undermines and compromises women and their legitimacy in national and global programs. On the other hand, these measures will cause the dispersal, frustration, and despair of civil society’s independent forces in their activity and participation in this process. 

  • – Peace is not possible without justice. As long as the Taliban are not accountable for the crimes they have committed – war crimes, targeted killings of civilians – no authority has the power to forgive them. We believe that “lasting peace” will come when the rights of citizens’ votes are respected. We who have always drawn our RedLines know that “OurRedLine” is the guarantee of our fundamental and human rights – Chapter Two of the Constitution of Afghanistan – through active participation and justice. We expect the unconditional implementation of arrangements and commitments that will not lead to the repetition of humanitarian oaths in Afghanistan; And do not sacrifice justice under the pretext of peace.