More than a dozen women took to Jalalabad city’s streets on Wednesday night in a peaceful rally, welcoming the ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The women, who carried messages of peace, also called for the ceasefire to be extended and for all parties involved in the conflict to bring an end to the war.
One woman, a Jalalabad city resident, Husna Ahmadzai, said: “The main goal of this rally is to support the ceasefire. We call on the Taliban to extend their ceasefire in order to make this Eid historic.”
Other demonstrators at the rally said women have been badly affected by years of war and violence and that there are tens of thousands of war widows who are forced to raise their children on their own.
“We are tired of war. The parties involved in the conflict should reach an agreement and should end the war. The wars have made women widowd and have taken the lives of children’s guardians,” said Hasiba, one of the protestors.
In a separate protest for peace, the Helmand peace activists, who are walking to Kabul, have reached Shaikh Abad area in Wardak province.
“People have found hope from our movement. From elders to children to women, all have supported our initiative. We hope that a lasting peace will be ensured in our country,” said Attaullah, a resident of Nangarhar and member of the Helmand peace convoy.
“All the people are welcoming us. We are very happy, and we hope that this move will result in an enduring peace,” said Nek Mohammad, another member of the movement.
The ceasefire was announced by President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday and runs from June 12 through to June 19.
The decision by government has been welcomed with optimism from across the country and from Afghanistan’s international allies.