Source: (2010) PeaceBrief. 29. United States Institute of Peace

In summary, the changing sociopolitical reality and the breakthrough in the perceived gender roles are bringing women to new positions of responsibility and influence around the world and also in Afghanistan. Now, more than ever, Afghan women have the opportunity through the reconstruction process to work toward and shape a comprehensive peace agenda. We must acknowledge that Afghan women’s important participation in traditional community dispute mechanisms and their roles in the country’s wars as both conflict actors and peacemakers contradict the perception that women are passive agents or victims in Afghan society. Women’s leadership in social entrepreneurship, their growing presence in traditionally male-dominated occupations and spaces, and their active role in lobbying the government and international community are incrementally transforming longstanding cultural and structural norms and practices. Harnessing the experience and capacities of Afghan women to engage in decision-making processes in both peacemaking and reconstruction requires policymakers to adopt a perspective that acknowledges and emphasizes women’s resiliency throughout decades of conflict, and their important contributions to peacemaking and reconstruction in the post-Taliban era. The Afghan government and the international community must continue to enhance the capacity of Afghan women and encourage their participation in the reconstruction and peacemaking process. (excerpt)

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