“When the peace talks were declared after the ceasefires, we asked the question: Where are the women? Because we knew that, as activists, we had existed—and, had we not been around, the war would have been much worse.”
Despite signing the bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security Act to “increase women’s participation in negotiation and mediation processes”—by the looks of Trump’s Monday meeting with leaders from Pakistan, it seems he has completely ignored an act he himself signed into law.
“People say the U.S. Congress is dysfunctional,” Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president and publisher of Ms., points out, “but not for a moment would we think of turning over the country to terrorists—and neither would the Afghans.”
“The government does not set out to discriminate. Rather, it overlooks its own bias because it does not take the trouble to assess how policies affect women. Government budgets are supposed to be ‘gender-neutral;’ in fact, they are gender-ignorant.”
In spite of the Taliban, Afghanistan is a picture of progress—though not perfection.
It’s long past time for more diverse voices in the field of national security and nuclear policy—and that’s exactly why the Ploughshare Fund, a global security grant-making foundation that supports initiatives seeking to eliminate nuclear weapons and the threats they pose, has awarded $50,000 to groups and individuals working to diversify the field.
“Inclusivity means real representation: not just elites getting a seat at the table. Being at the table is a means, not the end.”
In January 2018, a BBC article declared that the Taliban had full control of 4 percent of Afghanistan’s territory and an active presence in another 66 percent of the country. Researchers at Feminist Majority Foundation, dubious of the BBC map and other similar public accounts based on territorial analysis, decided to do a study using population data.
The Trump administration’s approach to foreign relations with Iran has worsened existing humanitarian crises for women and created new ones. But women in Iran will continue to fight back.
As the Trump administration tries to negotiate peace with the men of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s women are drawing their red line.