Catholic missionary says women critical to Afghanistan’s future

Afghanistan’s future depends on women.

The most active people are women, They are the bearers of a positive vision of the country’s future, says Barnabite Fr. Giuseppe Moretti, who was a missionary in Afghanistan for 25 years.

“They are very intelligent and have a more open mentality than men. They try to fight slavery with principles of freedom, which is different from libertarianism: all this is even more effective when there are local organisations or associations that support these initiatives. The future of Afghanistan is certainly in the hands of women.”

Moretti says the principles of integration and innovation carried out by Afghan women is an integral part of national history:

“One can believe, with good reason, that if King Mohammed Zahir Shah managed to implement the programme he had in mind, Afghanistan today would be one of the most open countries in the Middle East.

“The monarch had begun a process of modernisation, almost of ‘Westernisation’, but respecting Islamic culture, which would have made Afghanistan a vanguard country under all points of view. But the story went differently.”

Several associations supporting women’s rights are perplexed about the results of the talks in Doha, Qatar, between US government officials and the Taliban movement.

The Afghan Women’s Network is one of several support networks of women’s organisations active in the country.

The Network has published a document officially asking the US to involve women in peace talks, so “their concerns and solutions are raised and included in all decisions and to respect, protect and implement their rights. The legitimacy and sustainability of peace depend on the full, equitable and meaningful participation of women”.

The support networks fear the “price” of the agreements between the United States and the Taliban movement will be paid by the women themselves, with compromises that could represent a return to the repressions suffered in the past under a fundamentalist government.


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