On August 14, 2016, APPRO, in partnership with Cordaid and Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD) launched the second phase of Monitoring Women Peace and Security (MWPS) at the Serena Hotel in Kabul.

Monitoring Women, Peace and Security (MWPS) is a two year partnership of APPRO, Cordaid, and EPD, led by Cordaid to assess the local, district level, conditions for the implementation of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in 15 provinces.

MWPS was designed to contribute to efforts in meeting Afghanistan’s commitments to the UNSCR 1325 with a focus at the community, grass roots level, using a “Barometer” approach developed by Cordaid. Using the data collected from the barometer and related research, MWPS captures women’s perceptions and understanding of their conditions and place in peace and security within the framework of Afghanistan’s NAP 1325 at the local / community level. As such, the project works closely with women and women’s organizations at the district level in efforts to prevent violence against women, foster women’s participation in politics and the peace process, protect women from violence, and ensure a that specific attention is paid to women’s special needs in relief and recovery efforts.

The launch of MWPS’s second phase began with a presentation by Cordaid on the Barometer, followed by a presentation by APPRO on of the key findings from the research and a presentation by EPD on the accomplishments to date, including the activities by the newly formed Provincial Women’s Networks in the 15 provinces. The key findings from research, accomplishments in activities, challenges, and ways forward are synthetized in Localization of NAP 1325: A 15 Province Status Report. Subsequent monitoring will be conducted on an annual basis, using a set of indicators designed based on Afghanistan’s NAP 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and UNSCR 1325. Ten case studies on specific issues related to WPS will complement findings from the monitoring over the course of the project.

Project overview and presentation of research findings were followed by a panel discussion with Mr. Sher Alam Abbasi, from the Human Rights and International Women’s Affairs Directorate, and Mrs. Parasto Yari, a High Peace Council member. Mr. Abbasi emphasized the existence of strong political by the Government of Afghanistan to support and implement the WPS agenda, and stressed the importance of continued collaboration between the government and implementing agencies, civil society, and the international community:

Consultation was at the basis of the development of Afghanistan’s NAP 1325 and needs to continue happening. This is not only a top-down process. We also have a bottom-up approach to implementing NAP 1325.

Mrs. Yari described the process for updating the High Peace Council’s (HPC) strategy, in line with the requirements for implementing NAP 1325. She also stated that there would be clear roles and responsibilities for women under the new strategy within HPC and Provincial Peace Councils, and specified areas of focus of the new HPC team including quantitative and qualitative provisions for human resources and expertise and the provision of capacity building in negotiation skills for female peace council members.

Both panel members insisted on the importance of a continued dialogue with civil society.

Panellists’ presentations were followed by a debate and discussion with the audience, centred on mechanisms for ensuring consistent monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of Afghanistan’s NAP 1325 objectives at the national and sub-national levels, application of NAP 1325 to budget allocations, and effective collaboration between all stakeholders, including various elements from civil society.