Afghan women call for peace and ceasefire

Afghan women, members of the High Peace Council, representatives of Civil Society, women and youth networks and women representatives of Afghan governmental and non-governmental institutions, have initiated a country-wide campaign to call for peace and an end to violence.

This campaign will run for 30 days with the aim to widely circulate the call for peace and to collect signatures of women from all walks of Afghan life. The call for peace and ceasefire is meant to be a genuine and inclusive call for peace which is accepted and acknowledged for people on all sides of the conflict.

It is an appeal and offer to the Afghan Government, the armed opposition groups and the International Community to search for common ground as a basis for a peaceful settlement.

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In the name of Allah the most merciful and compassionate Afghan Women’s Call for Ceasefire and Peace

Allah says: “God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (Surat Al- Ra’ad, v11).

As we know, women in Islamic and Afghan societies have special historical and cultural positions. The Afghan woman, whether mother, daughter, sister or wife has always played a constructive and effective role in our society, which has been greatly respected. In addition to holding an important role in all areas of life Afghan women have made notable contributions to peace and unity over time. They not only strengthen bonds among different communities and tribes given their position and value in society, but they have the ability to resolve serious conflicts and long standing local disputes and tribal rivalries. In Afghanistan’s history, whenever Afghan women have pleaded to the conflicting parties by unveiling and extending their scarves, the conflicting parties have ceased fighting and made peace following an Afghan custom.

Afghan women and men for years have made great sacrifices, but unfortunately our country has not yet reaped the benefit of these sacrifices and instead outsiders backed by their militant factions through various ways and ploys have taken advantage. To ensure that Afghans are no longer exploited by foreign intrigues, we Afghan women representing half of society, in achieving the blessing of Allah the Almighty and extoling the hope of our martyrs, in light of the verses of the noble Quran, which says “and if two parties or groups among the believers fall into fighting, then make peace between them,” (Surah Al-Hujarrat, v9) plead to the conflicting parties by extendingour scarves and call on them to cease fighting, make peace and stop killing each other. Peace is the desire ofevery Afghan; we believe that the parties in conflict will respect our plea and honor our proposition that is based on Afghan and Islamic principles by responding positively and thus ending this violence.

Afghans love their country and do not want to see their sisters and mothers being made orphans or widows. They don’t want their children to be deprived of their parents, live in poverty, destitution and uncertainty. Considering the past realities, Afghans both men and women, have reached the conclusion that any party, which insists on continuing to fight and cause bloodshed will be accountable to the people and to Allah Almighty in the future.

To end the current bloodshed and establish nationwide peace and unity, we call on the government, armed opposition groups and the international community to participate in peace talks and urge the conflicting parties todeclare a ceasefire and to reach peace as is preferred by Allah Almighty, as he says, “goodness comes from peace” and without any excuses present legitimate concerns and propositions to reaching a settlement.

We are ready to play our role in bridging the gaps between the conflicting parties; we want to hear from them and share our views with them. We hope that all opposing parties will respond positively to our call for peace and ceasefire and help us to reach this noble goal of bringing peace and security to our people.

WITH HOPE FOR LASTING PEACE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY