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From violence to peace in Afghanistan

International Day of Democracy series

International Day of Democracy series

Building fundamental structure for conflict resolution and gender-based violence prevention

By Anita Rahmani, Communications Officer, CAID Afghanistan

Afghanistan suffers terribly from violence, but people have a strong desire for peace.

As CAID Afghanistan, we have made peace-building one of our priorities. We have been working on the causes and effects of violence in the form of humanitarian relief, livelihood support, and women’s empowerment.

But we want to be more ambitious. We have started to invest in conflict analysis and research, and started working on conflict resolution and gender-based violence prevention.

We have worked to empower community groups, and support the development of women shuras (local councils) to facilitate dialogues between men and women.

Aqlima, who suffers from psychological issueswas referred to a psychologist through our partner AHDAA.

I have suffered from psychological issues for many years... I heard about the work of the AHDAA organisation. They referred me to a psychologist.

The majority of women in Badghis province have very limited access to their rights.

Many are affected by war, family violence, isolation and natural disasters. A needs assessment conducted by our partner Agency for Humanitarian and Development Assistance for Afghanistan (AHDAA), revealed that many women suffered from psychological issues because of ongoing family and community conflicts.

AHDAA’s consultant doctor identified some of these problems as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In total, 200 women suffered from PTSD in 30 communities.

The assessment identified Shura members, Mullahs, Arbabs and other key community members as individuals who can influence their community and support conflict resolution and gender-based violence prevention.

Through training, Rahela, head of a Shura, learnt about the women's rights. AHDAA encourage women like Rahela to take leadership roles within their community.

... women suffering from PTSD were provided with psychiatric support and counselling services thanks to AHDAA

Based on this finding, AHDAA conducted a series of training sessions on peace building, trauma healing, conflict resolution and gender-based violence prevention to equip community leaders in 95 communities with tools to engage others.

As part of this work, AHDAA have supported local mullahs to raise awareness of gender-based violence. This has been an effective way to engage the wider community as hundreds of people join Friday prayers and look to mullahs for guidance and advice.

Women took part as well as men and since the project began last year, it has created significant change, particularly in the role of women in shuras. AHDAA is working to empower women in shuras to advocate for their rights.

Total budget:

50,300 GBP

Direct Beneficiaries:

4820 (3,315 men, 1,505 women) 

Find out more about our work in Afghanistan