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GROUP SPOTLIGHT: Working Towards Feminist Peace in Afghanistan

By Jamila Afghani, WILPF Afghanistan President and Eleanor Bennett, Communications Fellow. 

Some of the members of Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO) preparing for the “Mobilising Afghan Men to Protect Women’s Rights, Democracy and Peace” workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan (Photo Credit: NECDO)

Having held its first meeting in May 2015, WILPF’s section in Afghanistan works to advance feminist peace primarily by transforming gendered power. With a primary goal to address the roots of violence in its communities, WILPF Afghanistan has undertaken a number of initiatives that support WILPF’s Theory of Change, including through an “Imams Initiative Training” Programme. This Programme trains religious leaders, youths and clerics in aspects of Islamic tenets with greater emphasis on women’s leadership role for peacebuilding.

WILPF believes that in order to challenge patriarchy, we need to expose violence and inequality as counterproductive to peace. To this end, WILPF Afghanistan directly trains imams to become advocates for gender equality and women’s participation. Through self-reflection, the group encourages the change of hearts and minds of individual influential religious leaders, and builds movements of feminist men who promote care and equal partnership, rather than dominance and violence. This work has a transformative quality in that it aims to achieve long-term societal change by creating mechanisms for comprehensive and respectful engagement with stakeholders.  

Read more about WILPF Afghanistan here>>

Read more about WILPF Afghanistan’s work on engaging imams here>>