MEHRO has extensive experience in narrowing the gap between communities and state. Our focus is to strengthen and encourage women to participate and engage in peace building and conflict resolution processes at the policy and grassroots levels.
The peace process in Afghanistan still has a long way to go and many dialogues need to be led before it is reached. Afghanistan, due to its geo-political strategic position in central Asia was always fought over and conflict is not something new to this country. At the present time, various conflicts exist on different levels. The presence of foreign troops gives the country’s inhabitants feeling of military occupation and, on the other hand, we can hear daily about clashes between Afghan forces and informal non-state groups.
Apart from large-scale conflicts, there are conflicts at a micro level that can easily be overseen next to bigger events that take place in the country. That is, small-scale conflicts exist in Afghanistan among ethnic groups, neighbor villages and behind closed doors, family conflicts take place. MEHRO believes that Afghan people have a recourse to violence way too often and without thinking twice, while resolving these conflicts through peaceful means is possible. We believe that teaching Afghan people to resolve small-scale conflicts will have a positive impact in the process of bringing an end to nation-wide conflicts.
……. On this subject MEHRO has led workshops and trainings in several provinces of Afghanistan that involved women, men, youth and community and religious leaders. It helped strengthen dipute resolution mechanisms and bodies and held series of conflict resolution jirgas.* Since MEHRO realized that the local conflicts in question resulted from the people not having trust in local authorities in dispute resolution and thus taking the matters in their own hands, it organized meetings between the local leaders and the Government of Afghanistan in order to find a solution and increase Afghan government’s legitimacy in these provinces.
*Jirga: traditional assembly of leaders that make decisions by consensus. It predates modern-day written or fixed-laws and is conducted to settle disputes among the Pashtun people.