Time: 13:30-15:00
Place: Bergen Resource Center for International Development

Recent developments in Afghanistan suggest that the country is approaching a turning point. The international community is modifying its state-builing ambitions and at least temporarily increasing its military engagement. President Karzai has announced that a peace jirga will be held in May this year to discuss ways out of the conflict and President Obama has earlier announced that American forces will start to withdraw in July next year. What does this mean for Afghanistan’s future? What are the implications for progressive reforms in Afghanistan?

A seminar with two researchers who have just arrived from Kabul will be held at the Bergen resource centre on Friday 7 May to discuss aspects of these questions.

Aziz Hakimi, The Peace Jirga: Prospects for Peace and Reconciliation’

A NATO withdrawal strategy is increasingly being discussed. What are the main reactions in Afghanistan to this development? What are the main concers, fears and hopes? Can the peace jirga or similar initiatives play a constructive role? How can the internationals best manage a possible exit process?

Torunn Wimpelmann Chaudhary, Women, Violence and the State in Afghanistan: The case of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women ( Evaw law)

In July 2009 President Karzai signed a law which criminalised domestic violence, forced marriages and other gender based discrimination against women. What does the process surrounding the promulgation of the EVAW law tell us about the women's movement in Afghanistan and the scope for strengthening the public protection of women? How effective can such initiatives be in a situation where the Afghan state is under pressure from several directions?

Aziz Hakimi is an Afghan political analyst based in Kabul and national director in Afghanistan for ‘Future Generations’, a development NGO

Torunn Wimpelmann Chaudhary is a researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute and Ph.D. candidate at SOAS (University of London). She has just returned from fieldwork in Afghanistan.


Astri Suhrke, senior researcher at CMI.