Afghan Women Delegation's meet with the Governor of the New South Wales
On the 11th of March, the Afghan Women’s Delegation, HE Wahidullah Waissi, Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and Embassy and DFAT staff were hosted by the Governor of NSW and incumbent Governor-General of Australia, HE General the Hon David Hurley AS DSC (Ret’d) and Mrs Linda Hurley. The meeting at Government House in Sydney was part of the 2nd Annual People-to-People Dialogue with the theme of Women’s Empowerment. The discussions the Delegation engaged in with the Hon David Hurley and Madam Hurley held true to this theme, and were centred around the peace process and Afghan women’s concerns and opinions around it, as well as Australia’s views on and contributions to this process. The conversation also raised some points about the successes and challenges of the peace process in its ongoing state over the past 18 years. The delegates mostly identified issues of inclusivity in the peace process, and how this process has excluded the voices of women, youth and the Afghan government. Hadeia Amiry identified that there are three women in the twelve-member negotiation team, which showcases a structural commitment to include women’s voices – however, this trouble lies in maintaining substantial women’s engagement throughout the long term. Some other successes in the area of women’s rights were identified by Sajia Behgam as the advancements in women’s education. Delegates also referred to expanding discussions beyond the military and security dimensions, to include upcoming issues of climate change and environmental transformation. The Hon David Hurley reaffirmed to the delegation Australia’s support for Afghanistan, particularly as the two countries go forward into the next 50 years of their bilateral relationship. In making these comments, he drew upon many years of experience serving the Australian Defence Forces in Afghanistan. The meeting was an invaluable opportunity for the Delegation during their visit to Australia and the Embassy wishes to extend its appreciation for the hospitality shown by Government House.
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