UN drafting list of women for Doha meeting, sources reveal

Women’s protest in Kabul. 2022. File Photo.

The United Nations is compiling a list of female attendees and civil society members for the upcoming meeting of special envoys in Doha, sources within the organization disclosed Tuesday. The list is anticipated to be completed shortly.

Female activists are concurrently organizing a list of their colleagues for the event. “On Tuesday morning, 10 to 15 women were picked by institutions and movements,” activist Hadia Sahibzaa said. “Meanwhile, a list of protesting women was selected in a virtual meeting and was sent to the UN Secretary-General,” she added.

Karima Azam, head of a women’s protest movement, stressed the importance of women’s involvement in the Doha meeting. “In the Doha meeting, which is a decisive meeting for the oppressed women of Afghanistan, women from inside Afghanistan should participate, not a few ‘failed figures’ who have taken away our rights several times,” Azam stated.

Other activists representing women’s movements within Afghanistan are urging the UN to tackle the country’s political crisis at the Doha meeting. “A serious decision should be made about Afghanistan and this situation should end. We ask the international community to change the double standard policy regarding the future of Afghanistan, regarding the sovereignty of Afghanistan, regarding the Afghan government, and to stop supporting a terrorist group that was on the UN blacklist,” said Tarannum Saeedi, an activist in charge of a women’s movement.

Furthermore, the Afghanistan Women’s Voice Movement criticized the ongoing detentions of women and girls, demanding urgent attention to this issue at the event. “The Taliban arrest women and take them to unknown places on various pretexts, including wearing a veil, and this is becoming normal. We protesting women want the release of these women as soon as possible,” said Shazia Ahmadi, a member of the movement. Mursal Mehrabi, another member, added, “We protest against the arbitrary arrests of Afghan women and girls by the Taliban, that such actions by the Taliban are immoral and inhumane, which causes misery to families in the society.”

The critical Doha meeting, scheduled in twelve days, is viewed as highly significant for Afghanistan’s future.

Although the Taliban have not finalized their delegation for this meeting, women and civil society activists demand that the UN compel the Taliban to respect human rights, especially the rights and freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan.