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Women and armed conflict: Cultural obstacles to Pashtun women’s participation in peace building

Noor Sanauddin, Zafar Khan, Shakeel Ahmad & Khurshaid

Abstract

The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on „Women, Peace and Security‟ stresses the importance of women‟s „equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution‟. However, the situation on the ground with respect to women‟s participation in peace building efforts in many countries is still not very encouraging. This paper highlights the unequal treatment of women in peace building process in Pakistan in general and the Pashtun belt in particular where women have been suffered in a number of ways during the on-going conflict. The article articulates that the patriarchal Pashtun society and culture present numerous hurdles in the way of women to actively participate in the peace building process and that their role in peace building efforts is not recognized and appreciated.

Keywords: women, conflict, peace building, gender equality, pashtun, pakistan