Former Swedish Ambassador Ann Wilkens on Women, Peace, and Security in Afghanistan
Ann Wilkens is currently a member of the advisory panel of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and the author of a number of papers on the Pakistan/Afghanistan region, including "Missing the Target: A report on the Swedish Commitment for Women, Peace, and Security in Afghanistan", which has just been published online.
Seminar abstract: One of the pretexts for legitimizing the 2001 military intervention in Afghanistan was the need to secure human rights for women. Sweden’s position at the time was that there could be no peace in Afghanistan unless women obtained such rights. In support of this objective, Sweden has increased its bilateral development aid every year until Afghanistan has become Sweden’s largest recipient of such assistance.
Severe barriers still prevent women in Afghanistan from attending school, participating in society, and assuming a role in their country’s political life—including peace negotiations. However, it is unclear whether Sweden will maintain its dedication to Afghani women as the country undergoes a military transition.
There is grave concern that women’s rights may be displaced by other issues as international priorities are reshuffled. See seminar poster.