National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy
Ensuring Citizens' Voice in Governance
National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy
Ensuring Citizens' Voice in Governance
National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy
Ensuring Citizens' Voice in Governance

NAP 1325

Coordination Meeting of National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy and Provincial Advocacy Committees (PACs)

Introduction

A coordination meeting of National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP) and Provincial Advocacy Committees (PACs) was held on June 25, 2018, at APPRO main office, Kabul. The objective of the meeting was to report progress on advocacy efforts at the national and provincial level as well as coordinating and prioritizing future advocacy issues to be carried out at the national level. In this meeting the National Advocacy Committee (NAC-PP) and provincial Advocacy Committees (PACs) presented and discussed their annual advocacy activities.

The event was organized by Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO), Secretariat of NAC-PP, following the advocacy meetings carried out by National Advocacy Committee at the national level with ministries of education and health.

The event was sequenced as follow:

  • Opening
  • Presentation of NAC-PP mandates, vision, mission, and structure
  • Presentation of NAC-PP achievements to date and ways forward
  • Presentation of the Balkh advocacy committee
  • Presentation of the Takhar advocacy Committee
  • Presentation of the Daikundi advocacy committee
  • Presentation of the Nangarhar advocacy committee
  • Presentation of the Herat advocacy committee
  • Group work for identifying problems that need for advocacy with relevant government organs in national level

The full report of the event and its proceedings is available here

December 6, 2017: Coordination Meeting of the NAP 1325 Subcommittee and Provincial Advocacy Committees (PACs)-

Introduction

A coordination meeting of NAP 1325 Sub-committee of National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP) and the Provincial Advocacy Committees (PACs) was held on December 6, 2017 at the Malika Palace of Baghe Babur, Kabul, to discuss future advocacy activities of NAP 1325 Subcommittee, identify advocacy priorities based on experiences of the Provincial Advocacy Committees, and draft a strategy for NAP 1325 Subcommittee.

Read more

November 9, 2017 : NAP 1325 Sub-Committee – Round-Table Discussion

On November 09, 2017, the National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP) held its first NAP 1325 Sub-Committee meeting to discuss objectives and strategy for this specific sub-committee, and identify possible collaboration and coordination between different civil society organizations which work on women, peace and security in Afghanistan. The event was organized by Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO), the Secretariat of NAC-PP, following the NAC-PP Stakeholders Conference on October 12, 2017 in Continental Hotel. Read more

NAP 1325 Monitor is Launched

One January 1, 2017, Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO) launched its NAP 1325 monitor Project, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for a period of 4 years.

Rationale

The Government of Afghanistan is signatory to numerous treaties on women’s rights. There is general admission and recognition, however, that progress towards meeting treaty obligations has been slow in such areas as violence against women, mistreatment of children, women’s rights violations by security forces and armed opposition groups (AOGs), inadequacies within the formal justice system to protect women’s rights, and unaccountability of formal authorities.[1] Weak governance mechanisms, inadequate access to formal justice, corruption in the formal justice system, insufficient institutionalization of various protective laws and gaps in knowledge of rights violations have been pointed to as the main drivers of Afghanistan’s failure to meet its women’s rights obligations.[2]

The existing Afghan legislative framework, though necessary, is not sufficient for protecting and promoting women’s rights and defenders of women’s rights. The National Action Plan for Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) is a clear case in point. Despite the significant publicity around the launch of NAPWA and various statements of support and commitment by the Government of Afghanistan and its international partners, NAPWA is all but forgotten a few years after 2008 and has had little or no bearing on the policy making processes of the Government of Afghanistan, all of which affect the female half of the population in most significant ways. In addition, none of the many gains made by and for women since 2008 has had a direct relation to NAPWA.[3]

A necessary component for reconciling women’s rights according to the law and women’s rights in practice is the role to be played by civil society and women’s rights organizations, particularly in the aftermath of Farkhunda’s tragic death in 2015, in creating the crucial linkage between the state’s regulatory provisions and the basic rights of women. The need for this linkage has been given an additional momentum by the release in June 2015 of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan (NAP) for UNSCR 1325. NAP 1325 could act as the policy instrument to set in motion a process of institutionalization of women’s rights protection and promotion in Afghanistan through ongoing, evidence-based interface between civil society and the government.

Goal

NAP 1325 Monitor will carry out a full implementation analysis of Afghanistan’s NAP 1325 over a period of four years consisting of robust monitoring, related in-depth research, evaluations, and training and mentoring to build capacity of government and civil society organizations to support the operationalization of NAP 1325 in Afghanistan.

Expected Outcome

NAP 1325 Monitor will to contribute to good governance in gender-focused programming and policy implementation through informed and constructive engagement and advocacy by civil society aimed at local (provincial), national and international stakeholders.[4] This includes a strong focus on multi-actor partnerships, notably the role of civil society at large and women’s rights organizations in particular, to create linkages between society and its public institutions. These linkages are expected to result in government transparency, responsiveness, and accountability on its commitment to protect and promote women’s basic rights, as articulated in NAP 1325.

The key, multi-faceted, outcome of this program will be increased capacity and evidence-based responsiveness of public institutions to protection and promotion of women’s rights in Afghanistan consistent with the requirements of UNSCR 1325, related Resolutions, and Afghanistan’s NAP 1325.

Objectives

The specific objectives of NAP 1325 Monitor are to:

  1. Establish baseline conditions based on the available information, particularly APPRO’s own ongoing work on challenges faced by women throughout Afghanistan, and report negative and positive changes for action and learning, respectively. The findings from ongoing monitoring are expected to feed into state-civil society interface on WPS objectives as outlined in Afghanistan’s NAP 1325. Ongoing monitoring will compile an up-to-date evidence base for advocacy by women and their organizations and responsive action by the government. Monitoring will be carried out using a standardized methodology based on a comprehensive set of indicators developed from the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), subsequent related resolutions, and Afghanistan’s NAP 1325.
  2. Generate practical policy recommendations for interventions by civil society and the government on meeting WPS objectives as specified in UNSCR 1325 and Afghanistan’s NAP 1325. APPRO will work with women-centered civil society organizations on evidence-based, constructive advocacy to engage state actors and with state actors on how to utilize evidence-based, constructive advocacy messaging for more inclusive, relevant, and effective policy making on WPS.
  3. Disseminate information from the monitoring and related research to national audiences and international audiences through APPRO-Europe in Brussels and other international fora with a focus on Afghanistan and/or women’s peace and security.[5]

This monitoring, research, and training program is also expected to prove useful in identifying entry points for the implementation of Sweden’s own NAP 1325 and its implications for Swedish foreign policy and Sweden’s development aid programming in Afghanistan.

Scope

Thirty-three districts in 12 provinces will be the sites of this intervention. The provinces are Kabul, Bamyan, Daikundi, Balkh, Kunduz, Samangan,, Nangarhar, Laghman, Khost, Kandahar, Nimruz, and Herat. In a volatile environment with a rapidly evolving security situation, the selection of these provinces is based on factors ensuring heterogeneity in the social, political, economic and security situation of the target provinces. These include geographical repartition across the Afghan territory, heterogeneity of socio-economic profiles, and diversity in security situation and development focus.

The findings generated through monitoring will provide accurate, up-to-date, and practical information on the conditions of women in rapidly changing environments. The availability of monitoring information is likely to feed into decisions by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community on programming for Women, Peace, and Security objectives as outlined in Afghanistan’s NAP 1325.

Program Components

The objectives for NAP 1325 Monitor will be met by three interrelated project components:

  • Component 1 will establish the current conditions of women’s rights in 13 provinces in Afghanistan based on the existing information and APPRO’s extensive work throughout Afghanistan focusing on women’s rights and how these rights are being affected by significant changes since 2011.[6] The subsequent, regular monitoring reports will generate up-to-date information on women’s rights conditions for a period of four years.[7]
  • Component 2 will provide structured training and mentoring to enhance synergies between civil society actors, women’s rights organizations, and relevant government stakeholders in constructive, evidence-based advocacy by civil society and responsive policy design and implementation by the Government of Afghanistan in meeting its WPS commitments and monitoring of progress on NAP 1325 objectives through tailor-made trainings, regular mentoring and follow up, and facilitation.[8]
  • Component 3 will monitor the commitment by, and accountability, of key government institutions in the implementation of NAP 1325 through the establishment of a scorecard to report on progress on NAP 1325 objectives, with the results being disseminated and followed up by a dedicated sub-committee of the National Advocacy Committee for Public Policy (NAC-PP). More information on the NAP 1325 sub-committee is available through: http://www.nac-pp.net/category/nap-1325/

The findings from the monitoring will feed into the development of tailor-made capacity building and support for women’s rights’ actors and state institutions relevant to the implementation of NAP 1325, and allow for informed advocacy through NAC-PP’s NAP 1325 sub-committee on women’s rights at provincial, national, and international levels as an integrated component of the policy making process.

The resultant close working relationship and increased interface between civil society and government authorities, particularly between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TWG members and civil society and women’s rights’ organization is expected to increase synergies between the government and its polity, facilitate moving toward better (or good) governance on women’s place in society and their key roles in conflict resolution and peace processes, and government accountability on how it addresses the many inequalities faced by Afghan women.

Project Alignment with Afghanistan’s NAP 1325

NAP 1325 Monitor will have a sectoral approach focusing on key sectors and relevant ministries where women can and must play strategic roles. The key sectors for NAP 1325 Monitor will be: Justice, Health, Education, Labor, and Displaced communities.[9]

APPRO currently has Memoranda of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Education for other projects. APPRO is also in the process of signing MoUs with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, and Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority.[10]

Photo credit: Oriane Zerah

References:

[1]  Amnesty International, “Too many missed opportunities: Human rights in Afghanistan under the Karzai administration”, April 2014.

[2]  See, for example, Common Wealth and Foreign Office Corporate Report, October 2014, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-country-of-concern/afghanistan-country-of-concern

[3]  For more information of why NAPWA failed, and how it could succeed, see APPRO (2014), A Critical Assessment of NAPWA, available from: http://appro.org.af/a-critical-assessment-of-napwa/

[4]  In this case, good governance refers to the capacity of relevant stakeholders in Afghanistan, including the public institutions, civil society actors (particularly women’s rights organizations), and international actors to effectively address the needs of the Afghan women in gaining access to their basic human rights.

[5]  For more information on APPRO-Europe, see: www.appro-europe.net

[6]  APPRO has current data and ongoing data collection on 18 provinces and thus the necessity for a baseline for NAP 1325 Monitor will be unlikely. APPRO may propose the collection of some additional data if the existing data is assessed as lacking specific information. The final list of provinces and districts in each province will be finalized in consultation with Sida.

[7]  The proposed 4-year length of this program may be changed, subject to consultations with Sida.

[8]  The trainings for government officials and civil society and women’s rights organizations will be conducted based on internationally recognized curricula, implemented by APPRO in Kabul and certified by Ghent University (Belgium).

[9]  These ministries are consistent with the key ministries specified in Afghanistan’s NAP 1325.

[10] These last two entities will be instrumental for NAP 1325 objectives on Pillar 4, Relief and Recovery.

Summary of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (NAP 1325) on Women, Peace and Security (2015-2022)

To implement UNSCR 1325, the Government of Afghanistan has developed this National Action Plan to achieve the following:

  • Participation of women in the decision making and executive levels of the Civil Service, Security and Peace and Reintegration;
  • Women’s active participation in national and provincial elections;
  • Women’s access to effective, active and accountable justice system;
  • Health and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual and domestic violence throughout Afghanistan;
  • Protection of women from all types of violence and discrimination;
  • Provision of financial resources for activities related to women in emergency;
  • Implementation of IDPs policy provisions related to UNSCR 1325;
  • Put an end to impunity for violence against women (VAW) and related crimes;
  • Engage boys and men in fighting Violence Against Women;
  • Support and provide capacity building for civil society (particularly women’s organizations) on UNSCR 1325 and women, peace, and security;
  • Increase economic security for vulnerable women through increased employment opportunities;
  • Increase access to education and higher education for girls and women, particularly for the internally displaced persons and returnees;

Due to more than 3 decades of war, the following major areas require focused attention:

  • Women are vulnerable to sexual violence, including: rape, sexual harassment, trafficking, forced prostitution, and forced marriages
  • In remote areas, women lack access to justices
  • As a result of the armed conflict and the marginalization of women in society at large, women lack proper access to healthcare services, education, and employment opportunities.
  • As a result, illiteracy and unemployment rates are highest among women, and Afghanistan suffers from a significant maternal mortality rate. Internally displaced women and women living in conflict‐affected communities are particularly vulnerable to insecurity.

Constitutional Provisions

According to Article 22 of the Afghan Constitution, “[a]ny kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan shall be forbidden. The citizens of Afghanistan, man and woman, have equal rights and duties before the law.” This Article is the foundation for incorporating principles of gender equality and non‐discrimination in government policies and initiatives. Women’s right to vote and representation in the National Assembly is enshrined in the 1964 Constitution. These rights were strengthened in 2004 with the new Constitution that set the 26 percent quota of seats for women in the Lower House (Wolesi Jirga) and 17 percent in the Upper House (Meshrano Jirga). Following the 2010 elections, Afghan women represented 27.7 percent of the Wolesi Jirga.

Articles No 43, 44, 53, and 54 of the Afghan Constitution articulate provisions on education, healthcare, welfare, and employment services for women. These articles ensure women’s access to education, healthcare, and employment in Afghanistan, which are pre‐conditions for their meaningful political participation as well as an important component of the relief and recovery.

Legal Provisions

The laws of Afghanistan guarantee the protection of women’s right and freedom. The government is legally bound to protect women against violence. In 2009 the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Law was adopted, which lists 22 offences including forced marriage and rape. In an attempt to strengthen the legal provisions and structures to eliminate violence against women and increase women’s participation, the government has taken the following significant steps:

  • Adoption of the EVAW Law
  • Amendment of some of the provisions in the Civil Servants Law to promote women’s rights
  • Development of the Family Law
  • Development of procedures to prevent discrimination
  • Development of Shelter Regulations, and
  • Presidential Decree No 45 (Paragraph 32) on Elimination of Violence against Women.

NAP 1325 Pillars

Participation:

  • Increase effective participation of women in the decision-making and executive levels of the civil service
  • Ensure women’s active and effective participation in leadership positions of security agencies
  • Ensure women’s effective participation in the peace process
  • Encourage women’s meaningful participation in the drafting of strategies and policies on peace and security
  • Strengthen women’s active participation in politics

Protection:

  • Protect women from all forms of violence and discrimination through the enforcement, monitoring and amendment of existing laws and development of new laws and policies.
  • Promote women’s human rights gender mainstreaming of laws, policies, and institutional reforms.
  • Create an enabling environment for women to have access to justice through women’s effective participation in the judiciary.
  • Protect women from all forms of violence through awareness raising and public outreach.
  • Provide health, psychological, and social services for women survivors of violence throughout Afghanistan.
  • Effect special measures to ensure women’s protection from sexual violence.

Prevention:

  • Prevent violence against women.
  • Eliminate culture of impunity in violence against women.
  • Strengthen the role of women in the security sector and judicial structures.
  • Effect gender‐related reforms in the security and justice sectors.
  • Involve men and boys in the fight against all forms of violence against women.
  • Increase awareness among women of their rights and their role in preventing violence and resolving conflict.

Relief and Recovery:

  • Provide relief and recovery services for women affected by conflict, internal displacement and women survivors of violence.
  • Increase rural women’s economic security through increased employment opportunities.
  • Consider women’s social and economic needs in the design, implementation, and evaluation of relief and recovery programs.
  • Implement the policy provisions of UNSCR 1325 for the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Implementation

The implementation occurs in two phases of four years each: 2015-2018 and 2018-2022.

The implementing agencies have been divided into two categories lead (governmental) and support (civil society). All lead and supporting implementing agencies will be responsible for reporting on their assigned activities on an annual basis to the DHRWIA‐MoFA. The DHRWIA is responsible for compiling the reports and submitting them to the Steering Committee for approval and subsequent submission to the President Office, the National Assembly, and the international community. The annual reporting will address the extent of activities implemented and financing allocated, disbursed and spent, progress made, challenges encountered, and suggestions to improve the implementation.

 

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee was established on April 14, 2012, under Presidential Order No 434, and is an overarching body to advise and direct the NAP development process. The Steering Committee is comprised of relevant government agencies as well as a representative from civil society. Following the adoption of the NAP, the Steering Committee will continue to have a central role in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NAP.

Steering Committee Members

Institution NAP Role
1.     Minister of Foreign Affairs Chairperson Member
2.     Deputy Minister (Policy) of MoD Member
3.     Deputy Minister (Security) of the MoIA Member
4.     Deputy Minister of Public Health (Healthcare Services) Member
5.     Deputy Minister (Admin and Finance) of MoRR Member
6.     Deputy Minister (Technical and Policy) of MoWA Member
7.     Senior Advisor of MoJ Member
8.     Director of DHRWIA of MoFA Member
9.     Deputy Director of NDS Member
10.   Women’s Rights Commissioner of the AIHRC Member
11.   Representative of Civil Society Member
12.   Director of International Relations of the Office of Administrative Affairs and Secretariat of Ministers’ Council Member

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Monitoring and Evaluation Plan consists of annual, mid‐term (after two years) and final review in the fourth year. The Plan includes tracking and monitoring of financing for NAP 1325 to ensure transparent and effective implementation under the oversight and responsibility of the Steering Committee. The government recognizes the important role of civil society as an independent oversight body for the successful implementation of the NAP 1325.