Incremental Peace in Afghanistan
Dr Habiba Sarabi, Deputy Chair of the High Peace Council in Afghanistan, discusses some of her thoughts on elections and peace in Afghanistan. These are taken from a conversation with Anna Larson in November 2017.
Dr Sarabi describes frustrations with the pace of electoral reform. Voter registration at polling centres will facilitate a more effective ballot and strong civil society monitoring could play an important role.
Fresh leadership and a new strategy in the High Peace Council (HPC) have meant that motivation to work for peace is high, especially among women on it. Afghan women have two central roles to advance peace: observing political negotiations to ensure achievements are not lost; and at grassroots level, to play a social role to convince male members of families and communities not to fight. A voluntary network has been established for women to contribute to peacebuilding in this way. All Afghan leaders are men; the majority of candidates in elections will be men. International partners can help by focusing on women’s participation.