Afghan women share concerns over Doha meeting with UN deputy chief

The venue of second Doha meeting on Afghanistan in Feb. 2024. File photo.

KABUL, Afghanistan — In a virtual meeting with U.N. deputy chief Rosemary DiCarlo, Afghan women expressed their disappointment over the U.N.’s “apparent appeasement” of Taliban demands by excluding women and civil society from the Doha meeting and omitting women’s rights and human rights from the official agenda.

Nargis Nehan, Afghanistan’s former Minister of Mines and Petroleum, disclosed details of the meeting on her social media platform, stating that the U.N. made the Doha talks exclusive to issues of interest to the international community and the Taliban, ignoring the demands and voices of the Afghan people.

“We, the women and girls of Afghanistan, were very hopeful that the Doha process would create an all-inclusive dialogue by engaging all groups, including women, civil society, the Taliban, and other political factions, to address the crisis of legitimacy, human rights, and the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan,” Nehan said.

She argued that if the U.N. monitored Afghan social media, it would see that the Doha meeting faces a legitimacy challenge, as many women are proposing to boycott the process. Nehan emphasized that no single group, including the Taliban, can represent all Afghans.

“If the Taliban are not ready to meet with other Afghan groups, the U.N. must allocate one day of the Doha talks to representatives of civil society and women, and another day to political groups, to ensure the process is inclusive,” she noted.

Nehan also stressed that Afghan women would closely monitor the U.N.’s interactions with the Taliban. “We will hold accountable those who sacrifice the political participation rights of Afghan women in exchange for getting the Taliban to the Doha talks,” she said.

The third round of the Doha meeting is scheduled for June 30 to July 1. The U.N. will host discussions between special envoys and representatives of women and civil society on July 2.