Afghan women negotiators to face hardline Taliban in peace talks.

KABUL : Five Afghan women who endured the Taliban's oppressive rule and fought for fragile gains since the militants were ousted are now preparing to face the hardline group in peace talks.

Their presence at the negotiating table is significant in patriarchal Afghanistan, though they will be outnumbered by the rest of the Afghan government's team of 16 men and the Taliban's male-only side.

''The Taliban have to understand that they are facing a new Afghanistan with which they have to learn to live,'' said Fawzia Koofi, one of the negotiators and a high profile women's rights campaigner.

The politician has survived two assassination attempts during her career - the latest as just weeks ago near the capital Kabul and came after the Taliban and Afghan government said they were ready for talks to begin. [AFP]


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