Dozens of women from Helmand province, a volatile region in the south of Afghanistan, joined the Peace Convoy on Tuesday by setting up a sit-in camp alongside the men’s camp at a stadium in the provincial capital Lashkargah City.
The sit-in protest was launched on Monday following a deadly suicide car bombing near Ayub Khan Stadium on Saturday evening when spectators were leaving a wrestling match. At least 16 people were killed and almost 50 others were wounded in the explosion.
The women activists said the Peace Convoy will visit a Taliban stronghold on Thursday to carry a message of peace to the group.
“We are suffering because of violence and war,” said Hasina Ehsas, a female activist in Helmand. “We have lost our relatives and we are standing alongside our brothers in this movement.”
“We want peace in our province and our country. Enough of war. We have lost our relatives. Now we request you (the Taliban) to join peace,” said Shazia another female activist in the province.
These women said the Peace Convoy will travel to Nad Ali district, in the north east of Lashkargah City, to carry the message of peace to the Taliban.
“We are happy if peace comes and both sides stop the bloodshed because this war is not our war; it belongs to other countries. Our homes and properties have been destroyed,” said Zarghona a protester.
“If someone wants war then they must go and fight foreigners. Stop making us widows and making us cry over the death of our children,” said Wak Anara, a resident of Helmand.
The movement is the first of its kind for peace.
On Monday, the Peace Convoy drove through the city of Lashkargah, brandishing posters carrying messages calling for peace.