In solidarity with the Afghan women gathered in Brussels December 4-5th, women’s rights activists from Belgium, Croatia, France, India, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States met in parallel session in Brussels to formulate support strategies for the implementation of the Brussels Proclamation issued by the Afghan Women’s Summit. A number of initiatives were devised by this group, which included activists from war-torn countries, artists, lawyers, funders and a parliamentarian. Also working with the group was the Gender Advisor to the UN Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UNIFEM. The group was deeply moved and inspired by the clarity and brilliance of the Brussels Proclamation and the vision of Afghan Women for the future of their country. In support of this vision, the group made the following commitments:
- To undertake an advocacy campaign to ensure that the funds allocated by the international community for the reconstruction of Afghanistan are conditional on (i) the participation by women in decision-making over the granting of the funds; (ii) the inclusion of women’s non-governmental organizations among recipients of the funds; and (iii) the use of the funds for implementation of the priorities outlined in the Brussels Proclamation.
- To declare on International Women’s Day 2002 that for women "Afghanistan is Everywhere", which means that we are joined in solidarity with the women of Afghanistan not only because we all identify with their suffering but also because we understand that the same conditions of violence, oppression, invisibility and other forms of inequality that plagued Afghanistan are universal. We will use March 8th to mobilize a worldwide demand for the implementation of the Brussels Proclamation issued by the Afghan Women’s Summit.
- To create an international task force of women’s rights lawyers with particular expertise in drafting legislation and constitutional law.
- To provide political support to the Ministry of Women created by the Bonn Agreement, and to undertake efforts to foster voter education and the participation by women in elections.
- To coordinate a funding effort to support grassroots community initiatives by and for women in Afghanistan and neighboring countries, which will make available at least $1 million over the next three years.
- To promote United Nations recruitment of women for employment in the various agencies within the UN system operating in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.