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News ::
Greens Demand Invitation of Afghan Women to Bonn Talks
27 Nov 2001
Outraged at the exclusion of the Revolutionary
Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Greens
call democracy impossible without representation
of women
THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release:
Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Contacts:
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,
nallen (at) acadia.net
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
scottmclarty (at) yahoo.com


GREENS DEMAND INVITATION OF AFGHAN WOMEN TO BONN
TALKS ON THE FUTURE OF AFGHANISTAN

Outraged at the exclusion of the Revolutionary
Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Greens
call democracy impossible without representation
of women

U.S. Green Party officers travel to Europe for
meetings with Green members of European
parliaments and other Green officials and the
European Federation of Green Parties


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Activists and organizers of
the Green Party of the United States are
demanding that women be represented in
international talks on the future of Afghanistan
beginning this week in Bonn, Germany. Party
members were angered to learn that the
Revolutionary Association of the Women of
Afghanistan (RAWA), which has worked to end the
suppression of women's rights and abuse of women
in Afghanistan by both the Taliban and the
Northern Alliance, was not invited to join U.S.
officials, United Nations representatives, and
five Afghan groups in the talks.

"This shows how women have been continually
marginalized in the peace process," said Annie
Goeke, chair of the International Committee and a
Pennsylvania Green. "It is imperative that RAWA
takes part in this meeting as they clearly
represent one of the most significant voices of
the Afghan society."

"These women have proved to the whole world their
right through all the work and risks they have
done in their struggle to bring democracy,
freedom, human rights and women's rights to the
Afghan society. They have been able to develop a
network of human and political relationships with
the Western world. And they have an important
role in creating the hope in the future
Afghanistan by knowing how to manage to spread
the knowledge of health and education among the
women."

RAWA has issued an urgent request for
international action to secure an invitation to
the meeting which may otherwise place control of
Afghanistan into the hands of two alleged Afghan
war criminals, Burhanuddin Rabbani and General
Dostrum of the Northern Alliance. Not a single
woman was invited to join 1,200 representatives
of various Afghan ethnicities, religious groups,
and political factions at a peace and unity
conference in Peshawar last month.

Resolution 1325, which calls for the involvement
of women in all of the implementation mechanisms
of conflict resolution, was unanimously adopted
by the U.N. Security Council last year.

The current exclusion of Afghan women bodes ill
for the future of women and women's rights in
post-war Afghanistan, regardless of the outcome
of the Bonn talks, and calls into question
President Bush's respect for women's rights in
the U.S. Greens call upon the Bush
Administration to ensure that any new government
in Afghanistan provide equal rights to women,
including direct representation of women's
groups.

"The Bush administration must end the terrorism
inflicted upon women in Afghanistan and elsewhere
on a daily basis," said Mark Dunlea, Vice-Chair
of the Green Party of New York State. "The U.S.
should not provide financial or political support
to any country that does not quarantee full
rights to women. It is very troublesome that the
Northern Alliance, with its long history of
abusing and oppressing women, has been given such
a dominant political role as the result of
Ameria's military intervention."

"RAWA has struggled for freedom of Afghanistan
and they belong to the civil Afghan society, and
therefore have the right to represent their
country and their gender," added Annie Goeke.

Ms. Goeke and two other officers of the Green
Party of the United States are currently in
Europe for meetings with international Green
organizations. Dean Myerson, the party's
Political Coordinator, is in Paris to meet with
Les Verts, the French Green Party; Steering
Committee member Tom Sevigny is going to Budapest
for a meeting of the Council of the European
Federation of Green Parties.

Myerson, Sevigny, and Goeke will also attend two
days of meetings, beginning Tuesday, November 27,
in Brussels with Green members of European
parliaments and other Green officials.
International action in support of peace and
democracy in Afghanistan will be among the major
topics at these meetings.


MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States
http://gp-us.org

Revolutionary Association of the Women of
Afghanistan http://www.rawa.org

European Federation of Green Parties
http://www.europeangreens.org


END

See also:
http://gp-us.org
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