A house divided
Can Afghan elites resolve their difference in the pursuit of peace?

This report examines the range of views held by key members of the Afghan political elite about future prospects for peace, how these views compare to those held by civil society and women rights activists, and how they might be consolidated into a coherent platform in order to enable a common voice in negotiations with
the Taliban. The report draws on 20 qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with representative from across the political
spectrum and civil society in Afghanistan (six of whom were women)carried out in Kabul between mid-December 2019 and mid-February
2020.

According to our interviews, both pro-government elites and opposition leaders share the opinion that the Afghan constitution of 2004 can be altered if it offers an opportunity to bring
peace to the country.

CIVIL SOCIETY 4-6 MARCH 2020, BRUSSELS, THE EUROPEAN UNION
Living principles for an inclusive Afghan Peace process

Afghan civil society at large is concerned with the seeming willingness on the part of some of its allies in the International Community to allow achievements made in the past two decades, benefitting the Afghanpopulation at large, to be sacrificed.

Women & Peace
Participation of women in peace can bring stable peace in Afghanistan.
Women & Peace
Women’s Active Participation in Pre and Post Peace Agreement

Afghan women have so far not been fully recognized or engaged as stakeholders or participants in the current peace talks, women ‘peace-makers’, women’s groups and female leaders all across Afghanistan have been playing key roles in conflict resolution at local, provincial and national levels through their meaningful contribution to the development of new models of peacebuilding.

Women & Peace
Afghan peace and women participation

Palwasha Hassan Executive Director Afghan Women's Educational Center with Ambassador Khalilzad regarding US lead Afghan peace and women participation and raising women concern and aspirations for a sustainable peace in the country. The event has been facilitated by Afghan Women Network (AWN).

Geneva Conference on Afghanistan

Palwasha Hassan Speech in Geneva Conference on Afghanistan

Sustainable development is more needed than ever where poverty is rising, drought, and man-made disaster making living conditions for all Afghan hardship!

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February , 2021 by AWEC & UNWOMEN

Beyond Kabul: Women peacebuilders reflections on the peace process and the impact of covid-19

Venue , AWEC Main Office ,Kabul

Round-Table discussion:

Serena, Kabul

Feb 5, 2020 by Ministry of Refugees

Forum: Afghan Displacement Forum:

Palace, Kabul

Dec-19, 2018 by AWEC

Report: Education in Emergencies (EiE)

AWEC,CoAR, Save the Children,

Dec-7, 2011 by wikipedia.

Shinkai Karokhail: Afghan politician and rights activist.

political representation of women and the protection of vulnerable children

Dec 10, 2018 by Kabul

UN Women: Calls For Women’s Equal Role In Peace Process

Vacation, Boating

May 11, 2018 by Congress

Afghan women social activist Palwasha Hassan

Representing Afghan Women

May 2, 2019 by Awec

Goldozi: New Partners

Empowering women economically

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Introduction

AWEC is a non-profit women led national organization, established in 1991. AWEC focuses on reducing vulnerability and building capacities among marginalized communities with special focus on women and children. AWEC’s first project after establishment was starting a high school to provide education for the Afghan refugee children in Islamabad, Pakistan in the year 1991. This school was started with community contributions as a primary school and after delivering quality services to the Afghan refugees children the community requested the schools developed to high school.

OUR VISION

An inclusive and just society with sensitized and responsive public and private sectors, where all women and children have access to opportunities to improve their quality of life in order to realize their full potential.

OUR MISSION

AWEC demonstrates its commitment to the inclusion, protection and empowerment of Afghan women and children, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups, striving towards attaining their human rights and gender equality by:

CORE VALUES

Inclusiveness and respect
Integrity
Accountability and fairness
Professionalism and competence
Excellence
Collaboration and team spirit

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A girl who never gives up and wants to thrive
PROJECT SHE WRITES
16- December- 2019
Sakina's Story
When Sakina Saqib applied to this project, she was in the 4th class of journalism and she didn’t work with any media. For a student who was in 4th class there was no opportunity to work, moreover for lots of graduated students there is no working opportunity because they don’t have work experience. The method of lecture of university is just theory not practical and there are no updates of technology in the education, for this reason a lot of student can’t find job.
For becoming a perfect journalism and learning new methods of journalism, and reporting Sakina registered herself for the program conducted by AWEC in Herat office under name of She write. The project was aimed to provide basic training of journalism including mentorship program, She Write project conducted targeted journalist with international journalists of world’s famous media (BBC, VOA…) for local journalists of Herat province.
Furthermore, AWEC though She write project, launched a “Mentorship Program” tried to find internship for all targeted beneficiaries with local media and television that the intern moreover of “mentorship program” do the practical work on a television and radio as well. We made a commitment with Asr television that Sakina Saqib work there as an intern and Ms. Saqib worked there for three months. After three months of internship, Sakina became as a fully time employee of a local television in Herat province.
Ms. Sakina is very happy and love her job, she goes every do to her duty and provide news to her fellow- citizens. She added her achievements as the result of mentioned project and said “actually I am a graduate of Journalism faculty, but the things I learned with AWEC was very unique for me, I learned new methods of reporting, presentation, journalism, and many practical approaches related to journalism”.
Now there is a big change in her life, she works for a famous television network in Herat and present news on daily base, this was the only wish of Ms. Sakina from the start of university to work in a popular television. She wishes to become a real servant for other women of her province, and spread their voice for justice and promotion.

Figure 1: She Writes Project Beneficiary Presenting on a Live TV

Figure 2: Sakina, during She write project training in Herat

She Committed to help women getting violence
PROJECT AC
27-Aug-2019
Laila's Story
Laila a young woman in Herat province Enjil district with her two children lives in a family with her husband, father in law, mother in law and other members of her family. Laila experienced family violence in her laws family. She stated her story of a bitter beginning.
She said, “I am married for my brother with no mahar, instead my in laws gave their daughter to my brother”. This a culture that from years ago vogue in our society that they exchange their daughters for their sons. As many girls Laila is also one of the vacuums of this inappropriate popularity in her society. Laila’s brother was not satisfied with this marriage, the girl he was married with was older than Laila’s brother, and they had problem with each other. However, their problem affected my life as well, with this situation, my in-law’s family started hateful and violent behaviors to me.
This situation was unbearable for me, I left many to my father house, again my mother convinced me and sent me back to my husband’s house. There was no any way to and person to help me to share my problem with to find or show me a solution.
Finally, in one of the day I went to cousin’s house and shared my family issues with her, as she was already aware of AWEC Consultation center in the area, so she told me to go to the consultation center and share your issue to them, definitely they will help you to overcome to your problem and restart your life with your husband and your children.
Cousin of Laila took her to the Enjil consultation center and asks Legal consultant to listen to her issue and help her to come out of the violent she is faced with. Laila added that three months ago while she came to this center she was not ensure that they will help her to solve her problem, in addition she was scaring from spreading of her case in to community.
Laila says that Legal consultant assured me that her case will be keep protected and no one will access to her case. The consultant invited Laila’s in-laws to the center and talked to them and asked them the reason for violent to Laila.
After multi visits of Laila family from center and getting instructions and guidance of legal consultant, they accepted their fault and promised that they will not do violent against Laila, this was because they did not understand women right in Islam and according to the law of Afghan government.
After getting consultation and guidance, Laila’s life changed and bright and continued her life with a new face and page of family relation.
Laila is so thankful from AWEC for its good services particularly for women in her society, as Laila added “now I understood how to deal with violence”. Furthermore, she added that she will help other women and girls who are in the situation like I was before.
Further to the above, now Laila learning tailoring vocational and literacy in the center that AWEC in AC project provided for women who experienced violence in the targeted community.
A brave woman who did not succumb to cruelty
PROJECT AC
27-Aug-2019
Arzoo's Story
Arzoo a young woman who spend her life with many problems, say her story of a hard life. She has two children and living with her disable husband in a small house. She got marriage in the age of 18 while she was a student of 11 grade in her father’s house. Her marriage was a family marriage and she was not allowed to continue to her education after getting marriage. She had problems with her husband’s family, because when her husband gets injured in traffic accident, her family fall in financial trouble. Her husband’s family forced her to separate from her husband and remarriage with another man, but she did not accept to marriage with another man. moreover, her husband’s family used to say that this person is ill and paralyzed and he can’t being like before, but she was thinking about her son and her disable husband, and always washing for him to be well. Because of the over pressure of her family, her husband hanged himself, but fortunately he was saved by Arzoo.
I love my mother
PROJECT AC
feb 2020
Jamila STORY
Jamila is 28 years old young Afghan girl, whose father passed away while she was 3 years old. Her mother Ms. Samadi 52 years old afghan housewife and 2 brothers working as farmers, living at the Karukh district of Herat province.
Jamila says: “As a kid I didn’t know the importance of education and the need for read and write. There was no near school to join and my family could not take the risk to send me far. I could learn very basic Islamic teachings from our Mullah but I was soon restricted not to go there, because I was a girl and was getting young.
Jamila further added, “One day, a miracle happened and Arbab (community leader) came to our house informing my mother for awareness raising training, organized by AWEC. My mother went and joined the training and on the return, she discussed women rights issues among the family, she said: women can learn and be educated; women can vote and can work to support the family. This was the time; my mother permitted me to join Vocational Training Center run by Afghan Women’s Educational Center, a best learning environment for women and girls. Although I am very happy for tailoring skills but the capability of read and write, has given me a new hope and I love my mother for letting me learn and I thank those who have supported this center”.
Local Arbab introduced Jamila as her family was poor, she was student of both literacy and tailoring class established under Amplify Change project at the district center of Karukh. During 8 months, she learned to read and write and in addition, she has become a professional tailor and making clothes for women and kids with the support of tailoring package distributed by Afghan Women’s Educational Center.



Figure 1.1 Jamila a daughter of widowed mother and sister of 2 brothers loves her mother for letting her learn: 4th Jan 2021 – Karukh Vocational Training Center, Karukh district-Herat province

Nazifa wants to work for women
PROJECT NAPIII
August 12 2020
NAZIFA NIKZAD STORY
Nazifa Nikzad is an active woman; she lives in a family of 10 with her sibling and parent. She participated in a training course on violence against women in the Afghan-German organization.
She has participated in several AWEC programs, such as preventing violence against women, the prohibition of violence against women, and its solution. Finally, Nazifa has found her ability to go to the villages and carry out such programs voluntarily. Also, she was able to attract participants through the media for her programs. She started working when she graduated from law faculty, but her life had not changed. Since collaborating with AWEC programs and Nazifa has found the courage to defend her rights and others. She also gained a high level of awareness in her personal life. She is currently the deputy director of the Behbood Social Welfare Institute and a member of the Bakhtar Cultural and Social Foundation, and she aims to serve her people.


Figure 1.1 interviewing with Lady Nazifa Nikzad

Farida no longer suffers from her husband's unemployment
PROJECT WEED
15 September 2019
Farida STORY
Farida is a 27 years old woman who lives in Pol-e-Nanwayi village in Balkh province. She started telling about her husband's unemployment and said that "It has been three years from my marriage, and my husband is jobless and cannot afford our living expenses." Besides the unemployment of her husband, Farida explained her inability to contribute to the financial matter. Farida said that it is hard for a woman to work in the community because people believe that it is only the responsibility of men to provides for the family.
She further stated that "When AWEC established a Self-Help group in our village, I was thrilled. I remember telling myself, if I join this group, I would be able to help myself and my family, particularly support my family financially."
Unfortunately, Farida's husband's family did not allow her initially; she was very disappointed but did not give up trying. After many efforts and pleading Farida, worked with the Self-help group with the other six women. Now Farida processes dairy products in her village with other group members. All SHG members, including Farida, have income from their own small business.
Currently, Farida supports her family through her and also starts saving for her children's future. In the end, she said that "I have the plan to improve my business and help other poor women in our community to become an owner of their small business."



Figure 1.1 Farida Wants to have a good life

Afghan Women's Development is possible in any situation
PROJECT CIC
17 September 2019
Shakera STORY
A woman who wants to save her children's future by learning a profession inside the prison and doesn't want her children to be punished for the wrongdoings.
Shakera, who has been in Balkh women's prison for the murder of her husband, was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment. She is guilty of the crime and regrets killing her husband.
Shakera regrets the murder because her two daughters and a son live in prison with her. There is no one to support her daughters outside the prison. In addition to being illiterate, she is not familiar with any profession.
Shakira is very pleased with the launch of AWEC activities inside the prison, particularly for vocational classes and literacy programs inside the prison. She learns to make bags and pursue literacy training from the female instructor that AWEC hired.
She is very hopeful for the future of her children’s now. She stated that "After my release from the prison, I can feed and support my children with the profession I learned from this training." Furthermore, there is a small childcare center inside the prison for feeding and caring for the children of female prisoners. AWEC hired a female trainer for their children in prison too. The trainer helps the children to learn basic literacy studies.



Sana Gul wishes to study for a Master's & Ph.D. and broaden his knowledge about the world
Anna Center
17 Nov 2019
Sana Gul STORY
Sana Gul is a young boy from a nomadic family who still lives in a tent inside Kabul city. He is living with his old parents and six siblings. Sana Gul's childhood was very tough, he watch other children going to school while his heart always melts to have the same opportunity as others.
His passion for education was very much, but he cannot afford to buy all the necessary tools such as a pencil, notebook, and a bag to go to school.
Sana Gul always thinks differently from his family and relatives. While other continue to live their nomadic life, he was dreaming of changing his life through education. One day he decided to go to school without informing his family about it. However, he faced a bigger disappointment there. Other children would laugh mock him for his cloth and his nomadic background. Also, some were bullying him for being in first grade at his age. This disappointment led him to drop out of school and start working on the streets.
One of the days, a group of social workers from an educational center named Anna has visited their nomadic tents to register the children for school. They talked to all the nomadic families to allow their children to join Anna center and pursue their education. Also, the social worker mentioned that they would provide all the stationery. My parent was happy about this golden opportunity and allow me to enroll there.
Sana Gul added that "One of Anna's social workers told me that after successfully passing fourth grade, they would introduce me to Rabia-e-Balkhi High school." Finally, In 2012 Sana gull graduated from high school at Nadiria High school. Fortunately, he also successfully passed in Board exam of the university Agriculture department. Due to some financial and family problems, he could not continue his education in the mentioned faculty. Although, he didn't quit. He works as a guard in Anna center and saves money to continue his higher education in one of the private universities and complete his BBA in 2016. He also received his English language diploma from Kardan University.
Currently, Sana Gul works as a social worker in the Anna center and wishes to be an example for all other nomadic children to not give up on their dreams.




Fig 1.1 Sana Gull Wants to have an organization in the future & to help children like himself

Business Start-Up is Picture Perfect
Jawana program
17 Nov 2019
Hamida STORY
As a recent university graduate who was mostly financially dependent on her family, Hamida now overcomes the most significant hurdle of her life and achieves her dream.
The story of Hamida started after her graduation when she was unable to find work in her field. After joining the Jawana program, she was inspired and ask herself, "Why do I work for somebody else when it is possible to start my own business?"
The USAID Women's Leadership Development program offers a three-month leadership development program called Jawana that focuses on building self-confidence. This program provides management skills for women to become leaders within their community. The Afghan Women's Education Center is a proud partner to this project and supports courses using the Jawana curriculum.
"Attending the Jawana program gave me the idea to stop looking for a job elsewhere and start my own small business," said Hamida. As a result, Hamida launched a professional photo studio that entirely runs by women. Now Hamida and all other women working in her studio are financially independent and support their families.
Hamida and her colleagues raised 120,000 AFN (1,650 USD) and received a small loan from a relative to kick start the venture. After finding an affordable space and hiring five colleagues to help run the studio, she bought shop accessories and photography tools. The studio offers its clients various photography services, including portrait, artistic, modeling, and photography for parties and events.
"We have a good number of clients now, and we are known as professional photographers in our area," says Hamida. "Our work style is different from other photography studios. We are also working as the only photo studio operated by women in our area. Female clients feel more comfortable with us."
After experiencing the USAID-WLD Jawana program's life-changing impacts, Hamida is confident that she has cultivated the skills and support needed to her community respect her as a trusted photographer.
Nazanin wants to change the life of her family
Anna Center
19 Nov 2019
Hamida STORY
Nazanin, a young girl, lives in Kabul in a low-income family with her 16 siblings from two mothers. Her father is a shopkeeper. She started her life story and added, "I was so much interested in pursuing an education in a public school like other girls." Though, due to the financial problem, her father didn't allow her to attend school. Also, Nazanin's father disagrees with the idea of female education.
Nazanin said, "I tried to convince my father to let me go to school, but unfortunately, my efforts didn't result. Our neighbor, who was a student in Anna educational, told me about that place. She said that she was so thrilled when she first discovers that center. It was near where she lives, and she enjoys attending her class every day." Nadira's neighbor also told her that the center is very flexible with people like her. Nazanin is very grateful to the principal and teachers of this center, mainly to teacher Nadera who helped her a lot with her studies.
After Nazanin passed the fourth grade of Anna center, she was introduced by Anna center social workers to a public school called Tajwar Sultan female school to continue her education. Nazanin continued her education and was finally graduated in 2018. After Nazanin successfully passed in board exam, she was enrolled in a governmental institute and currently studies infrastructure engineering.
Nazanin also works as a data entry staff in the AWEC organization, the founder of Anna center, and receives a decent salary. She hopes to continue her education, obtain a master's degree, and become a real supporter of her family, particularly for her siblings and mother.

figure1. 1: Nazanin during working in her new job

Nazanin wants to change the life of her family
Anna Center
19 Nov 2019
Hamida STORY
Nazanin, a young girl, lives in Kabul in a low-income family with her 16 siblings from two mothers. Her father is a shopkeeper. She started her life story and added, "I was so much interested in pursuing an education in a public school like other girls." Though, due to the financial problem, her father didn't allow her to attend school. Also, Nazanin's father disagrees with the idea of female education.
Nazanin said, "I tried to convince my father to let me go to school, but unfortunately, my efforts didn't result. Our neighbor, who was a student in Anna educational, told me about that place. She said that she was so thrilled when she first discovers that center. It was near where she lives, and she enjoys attending her class every day." Nadira's neighbor also told her that the center is very flexible with people like her. Nazanin is very grateful to the principal and teachers of this center, mainly to teacher Nadera who helped her a lot with her studies.
After Nazanin passed the fourth grade of Anna center, she was introduced by Anna center social workers to a public school called Tajwar Sultan female school to continue her education. Nazanin continued her education and was finally graduated in 2018. After Nazanin successfully passed in board exam, she was enrolled in a governmental institute and currently studies infrastructure engineering.
Nazanin also works as a data entry staff in the AWEC organization, the founder of Anna center, and receives a decent salary. She hopes to continue her education, obtain a master's degree, and become a real supporter of her family, particularly for her siblings and mother.

figure1. 1: Nazanin during working in her new job

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