'Importance of Women' Acknowledged in NATO Summit Declaration, But Words Must Translate to Action

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May 21, 2012

'Importance of Women' Acknowledged in NATO Summit Declaration, But Words Must Translate to Action

Human Rights Organization Held ‘Shadow Summit’ on the Important Role of Afghanistan Women in the Future of their Country

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

(Washington, DC) – Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA’s executive director, issued the following statement in response to the Chicago Summit Declaration on Afghanistan issued by heads of state and government of Afghanistan and nations contributing to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF):

“Addressing the importance of women in the ‘full participation…in the reconstruction, political, peace and reconciliation processes in Afghanistan and the need to respect the institutional arrangements protecting their rights,’ in this Declaration is a good start. However, words must now translate into action.

“Yesterday at Amnesty International’s “Shadow Summit,” we heard firsthand from Afghan women how they have been excluded from the conversation regarding the future of their own country. Women and girls are half the population—and the key to future stability and prosperity. Until women and girls have a real voice in determining their own destiny, Afghanistan’s outlook appears unresolved at best and bleak at worst.

“In addition, as NATO and ISAF partners prepare to transfer security responsibilities to the Afghanistan military and police forces, NATO countries, the Afghan government and other actors must ensure that human rights and the rule of law are not forgotten or swept under the carpet. Afghanistan must adhere to international humanitarian law, ensure accountability of its national security forces and end arbitrary detention and torture.The Afghanistan people have a right to nothing less.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.