Canada Must Support Afghan Women at Bonn II

For Immediate Release:

OTTAWA, November 22, 2011 – The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is urging the Government of Canada to support the inclusion of Afghan Women at the upcoming Bonn II Conference and to ensure that women are adequately represented in Canada’s national delegation. On December 5, 2011 Foreign Ministers from over 90 countries will meet with the Afghan Government in Bonn to discuss the future of Afghanistan. There is reason to believe that Afghan women will not be adequately represented at the conference, and that their issues may not be fully addressed.

In making these requests of the Government of Canada, CFUW invokes the principles of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR), which calls for the full representation of women in all discussions aimed at conflict resolution and the development of a just and peaceful civil society. CFUW strongly supports UNSC Resolution 1325 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Its members believe that their full implementation must be a global priority.

A substantial Taliban presence is expected to attend the conference, and Afghan women remain concerned that the Bonn conference could legitimize the Taliban. This would mean a major setback in the realization of women’s rights in the country. “Women must play a key role in the main discussions at the Bonn II Conference and must not be relegated to a position of secondary input”, said Brenda Wallace, CFUW National President. “It is essential that Afghan women have a strong presence, and that the Government of Canada advocate for their full participation.”

The European Union has taken a strong position on the implementation of Resolution 1325.  Canada also played a lead role in its development.  With this in mind CFUW asks the Government of Canada to pursue the fulfillment of Resolution 1325 and to ensure that Afghan women are full and active participants in the discussions of Afghanistan’s future.

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For more information please contact:

Robin Jackson, CFUW Executive Director

613-234-8353 ext.102 or executivedirector@cfuw.org

CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization of close to 10,000 women university graduates, students and Associate Members in 112 Clubs across Canada that works to improve the status of women and human rights, education, social justice, and peace. CFUW holds special consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) and belongs to the Education committee of the Canadian Sub-Commission to UNESCO. CFUW is the largest of the 61 affiliates of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW).

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