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Ten years ago, world leaders promised to protect the rights of women in Afghanistan through international intervention, said Oxfam in a press release last week, which warned that, “the improvements for Afghan women’s rights gained over the last decade are at risk of slipping away and could be lost in a quick fix bargain for peace.”

Oxfam cites its “A Place at the Table: Safeguarding women’s rights in Afghanistan” report as the basis for its concerns.

In response, the Green Scarves for Solidarity campaign is calling for people around the world to wear green scarves as a reminder to the Bonn Conference in December of promises made and to guarantee women’s rights in any settlements with the Taliban and other groups after international troops withdraw at the end of 2014. Actor Helen Mirren and singer Alesha Dixon were quick to don scarves.

Although over two and a half million girls are now enrolled in school and there are many women professionals in the country, Mirren says that without females representing themselves during the peace brokering, “Afghan women are worried about what the future will bring. Our leaders need to promise them that any peace settlement will not come at the cost of their hard earned gains.”

Oxfam’s report begins: “Women want peace but not at the cost of losing our freedom again.”

Channel 16 and the Afghan Women’s Network will deliver a photo petition to ministers of December’s peace conference of uploaded pictures of supporters wearing green scarves.

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