IMPORTANT talks are coming up where discussions about the peace of Afghanistan will take place.

Whilst much news on Afghanistan centres on the potential withdrawal of military troops, I would like to draw readers' attention to another aspect of the Afghan conflict - women's forgotten role in building peace.

Afghanistan is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman.

Eighty-seven per cent of women report having experienced at least one form of violence. Access to basic healthcare is minimal, and maternal mortality is among the highest in the world.

Despite this, women have made progress. More girls are in school, women have the right to vote and stand for office and are doing so in good numbers.

However, when it comes to the future of the country, women's voices are sidelined.

Foreign Secretary William Hague must take to the upcoming peace talks a strong message from Afghan women and their supporters in the UK. The message is simple - you can't build peace leaving half the people out.

Women's involvement is crucial to ensuring a just and sustainable peace for all Afghans.

I am standing with Afghan women and CARE International UK, in making this demand to our government.

Readers can join me by visiting and signing the petition.

Ms Margaret Nutter Alexandria Tories off the hook?

Where is Gemma Doyle MP when the chips are down?

Last week, she and her Labour colleagues let the Tories off the hook over punitive public sector pension reforms after her party failed to back an SNP and Plaid Cymru motion in the Commons which called for the UK Government to reverse unfair changes to public sector pensions.

The debate - the first since the UK Government announced its pension reforms - comes after more than two million public sector workers took part in a day of action last week. The SNP and Plaid Cymru debate had been welcomed by a number of unions.

Instead of uniting against these punitive reforms, it is incredible that Gemma and Labour have chosen to let the Tories off the hook and let public sector workers down by sitting on their hands.

The millions of workers who marched through the streets last week will be aghast that Labour MPs have refused to even walk through the lobbies for them.

Gemma clearly is not interested in the welfare of public sector workers. Despite having had thirty six debates to raise this issue, since the UK Government announced their plans, Labour has remained silent.

Voters in West Dunbartonshire have the comfort of knowing that after the Referendum is won Gemma Doyle and the other Scottish Labour MPs will be officially redundant - something they have practiced for some time.

Graeme McCormick Arden Jailed or caged?

SO 'a reckless fire-raiser has been caged' - Jailed for flat blaze (Reporter 29/11/11).

To my knowledge, no person convicted of a criminal or civil offence in the UK. has been put in a cage for their offence.

The use of the word 'cage' is emotive, inappropriate, and inaccurate. It should be quite sufficient to say that an offender has been sent to prison.

I hope I am not alone among your readers to request that your journalists refrain in future from the use of such language.

Rose Harvie Dumbarton