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GREENS DEMAND INVITATION OF AFGHAN WOMEN TO BONN

by U.S. Green Party Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2001 at 10:41 PM

Outraged at the exclusion of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Greens call democracy impossible without representation of women U.S. Green Party officers travel to Europe for meetings with Green members of European parliaments and other Green officials and the European Federation of Green Parties

THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release:

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Contacts:

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,

nallen@acadia.net

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,

scottmclarty@yahoo.com



GREENS DEMAND INVITATION OF AFGHAN WOMEN TO BONN TALKS ON THE FUTURE OF AFGHANISTAN

Outraged at the exclusion of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Greens call democracy impossible without representation of women U.S. Green Party officers travel to Europe for meetings with Green members of European parliaments and other Green officials and the European Federation of Green Parties



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Activists and organizers of the Green Party of the United States are demanding that women be represented in international talks on the future of Afghanistan beginning this week in Bonn, Germany. Party members were angered to learn that the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which has worked to end the suppression of women's rights and abuse of women in Afghanistan by both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, was not invited to join U.S. officials, United Nations representatives, and five Afghan groups in the talks.

"This shows how women have been continually marginalized in the peace process," said Annie Goeke, chair of the International Committee and a Pennsylvania Green. "It is imperative that RAWA takes part in this meeting as they clearly

represent one of the most significant voices of the Afghan society."

"These women have proved to the whole world their right through all the work and risks they have done in their struggle to bring democracy, freedom, human rights and women's rights to the Afghan society. They have been able to develop a network of human and political relationships with the Western world. And they have an important role in creating the hope in the future Afghanistan by knowing how to manage to spread the knowledge of health and education among the women."

RAWA has issued an urgent request for international action to secure an invitation to the meeting which may otherwise place control of Afghanistan into the hands of two alleged Afghan war criminals, Burhanuddin Rabbani and General Dostrum of the Northern Alliance. Not a single woman was invited to join 1,200 representatives of various Afghan ethnicities, religious groups, and political factions at a peace and unity conference in Peshawar last month.

Resolution 1325, which calls for the involvement of women in all of the implementation mechanisms of conflict resolution, was unanimously adopted by the U.N. Security Council last year.

The current exclusion of Afghan women bodes ill for the future of women and women's rights in post-war Afghanistan, regardless of the outcome of the Bonn talks, and calls into question President Bush's respect for women's rights in the U.S. Greens call upon the Bush Administration to ensure that any new government in Afghanistan provide equal rights to women, including direct representation of women's groups.

"The Bush administration must end the terrorism inflicted upon women in Afghanistan and elsewhere on a daily basis," said Mark Dunlea, Vice-Chair of the Green Party of New York State. "The U.S. should not provide financial or political support

to any country that does not quarantee full rights to women. It is very troublesome that the Northern Alliance, with its long history of abusing and oppressing women, has been given such a dominant political role as the result of

Ameria's military intervention."

"RAWA has struggled for freedom of Afghanistan and they belong to the civil Afghan society, and therefore have the right to represent their country and their gender," added Annie Goeke.

Ms. Goeke and two other officers of the Green Party of the United States are currently in Europe for meetings with international Green organizations. Dean Myerson, the party's Political Coordinator, is in Paris to meet with Les Verts, the French Green Party; Steering Committee member Tom Sevigny is going to Budapest for a meeting of the Council of the European Federation of Green Parties.

Myerson, Sevigny, and Goeke will also attend two days of meetings, beginning Tuesday, November 27, in Brussels with Green members of European parliaments and other Green officials. International action in support of peace and democracy in Afghanistan will be among the major topics at these meetings.



MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States

http://gpus.org

Revolutionary Association of the Women of

Afghanistan http://www.rawa.org

European Federation of Green Parties

http://www.europeangreens.org



END



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