Hundreds of Afghan women marched throughout the capital city of Kabul on Thursday, demanding a ceasefire from all parties involved in the ongoing conflict with the Taliban.
Human rights and women’s rights groups also launched a campaign called “Ceasefire for Peace” with more than 300 women in attendance. Dr. Sima Samar, the Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, spoke at the event. She discussed how the war is costly to all parties and asked to instead that the government allocate resources to building schools and providing better services to the people. She added that “the money should be instead spent on addressing the treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis and polio rather than investing in war.”
Women leaders asked all parties, including the Afghan government, to cancel their offenses or so-called security operations to pave the way for negotiations.
Even though the Taliban is engaged in direct talks with US special envoy Zalmay Khalizad, they have not halted attacks on governmental institutions and civilians, and intend to carry out spring operations.
For months, Afghan women’s rights activists have been demanding their inclusion in these US-Taliban peace negotiations, with women now saying they are willing to meet in any part of the country to hold peace talks with the Taliban directly.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 2/28/19; Tolo News 4/25/19; Pajhwok Afghan News