Among many other issues that remain unsettled in Afghanistan, women rights is a dominant one. There were expectations that women rights would be emphasized much in the Bonn II Conference; however the emphasis was not very much considerable. Among the civil society members, Selay Ghaffar, a woman rights activist and the member of the executive board of Afghan Women's Network (AWN), was given a chance to speak about the issues of women rights.
Unfortunately, she was officially given only three minutes to discuss the issue. Considering the plight of women in Afghanistan, the time was not sufficient. Moreover, the emphasis on women rights that has been included in the Bonn Conference outcome documents is not very much definitive.
It says that the international community expects the peace and reconciliation process to respect the Afghan constitution and its provisions for the rights of women. However, the voice was raised regarding the women rights by many male and female members of civil society forum preceding the conference.
The concerns regarding the women rights in Afghanistan seem to be rising. A report about Afghan women earlier this year that included a sample of 1,000 women clearly depicted that women in Afghanistan fear the return of Taliban or the Taliban like government in the times to come.
Though there have been certain improvements made regarding the condition of women in Afghanistan, the concerns mentioned above still stand on strong footings. Furthermore, the series of different sorts of incidents in different parts of country also seem to be pointing towards the threat the Afghan women are going to face if the earlier extremist religious and obsolete traditional practices are not dealt with appropriately.
The current issue of Gulnaz has further raised the concerns of international community regarding the issues of women in the country. Though during the conference Canadian, European and Indian representatives made strong statements regarding the rights of women and their proper care, it should be made sure that emphasis must be maintained and they should be pursued properly.
Women form an integral part of society and have an important role to play. Their representation and involvement in different walks of life can help society develop appropriately. They can not be kept on being discriminated indefinitely, because it is not only non-religious but at the same time inhumane because above all women are human beings. Unfortunately, this very fact has not been understood by many in Afghan society.