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Afghanistan: Females

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Labour, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

(1) what recent discussions he has had with the Afghan Government on the involvement of women in the political processes at all levels in Afghanistan;

(2) if he will press the Afghan Government to ensure that women have an effective voice and role in all levels of the peace process in that country.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

At the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn on 5 December, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), stated that:

“The principle of inclusiveness is vital, so that all Afghanistan's people have a stake in the country's future”.

The Conference, chaired by Afghanistan, agreed a clear set of guiding principles for the reconciliation process and its outcomes and also an inclusive, representative peace process. The Conference also made it clear that the fundamental rights of women and children are key for Afghanistan's future.

The Government's International Violence Against Women Champion, the Minister for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone, also attended the Civil Society Forum on Afghanistan held in Bonn on 2-3 December, where she reiterated the UK Government's commitment to an inclusive political process in Afghanistan and the importance of the protection of Afghan women's rights.

We will continue to make clear it to the Government of Afghanistan that any political process should be inclusive and address the concerns of all Afghan citizens.

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