2017 Women’s Conference

The Kashmir-Council EU, in coordination with the Friends of Kashmir group, held the 2017 Women’s Conference, entitled as ‘Educating Women for Peace – a South Asia Perspective’ within the premises of the European Parliament. The first day of the conference was addressed by a number of European parliamentarians, human rights activists, experts and intellectuals from different countries. The second day of the event involved a workshop on the role of women, and on the problems involved in educating them for peace and democracy. The discussions revolved around the potential of different kinds of education to mobilise women to engage in the struggle for gender equality and in preparing women and girls to participate fully in the development and maintenance of democratic institutions of governance. Access to basic education is a fundamental human right. Ensuring this right as a reality for girls and women has been an international commitment for several decades now. Women’s education is an important step in the path towards the achievement of self-determination for Jammu and Kashmir, and this conference aims to be a significant part of that process.

The International Community and the European Union should recognise the plight of women in IndianAdministered Kashmir. This was the conclusion of a two-day international conference on the role of Kashmiri women in the perspective of peace and education in South Asia. The concluding statement highlighted that fact that women and children are the most significant victims of these abuses and urged the International Community to improve their situation by playing a more effective role in the resolution of the dispute over Kashmir. Expressing grave concerns over the situation of women in Indian-Administered Kashmir, the statement called upon international organisations working for the rights of women to take urgent action to improve the status of women in Jammu and Kashmir. The conference noted that the roles of women as mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters are all affected by the human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir. The statement also condemned the ban on social media in Indian-Administered Kashmir and said that India wants to suppress the voice of the Kashmiris.

The final statement urged the International Community, who support freedom of expression, to make it clear to India that imposing restrictions on social media, infringes on the human rights of the Kashmiri population’s right of freedom of expression and freedom of speech.