Excerpt from “Sending More Troops Will Not Solve the Problem”–Grassroots Afghan Activist Rangina Hamidi – Democracy Now
Rangina Hamidi: “[…] In Kandahar, we got together about—well, we got together last year and decided that as the government agencies have been celebrating International Day for Women, which falls on March 8th every year, we did not want to be necessarily celebrating the day when so many women were in mourning because they were losing a lot of their male relatives or male members of their families almost on a daily basis. So, in 2008, on March 8th, the women in our network gathered together, more than 1,500 of them, to commemorate the day by praying for peace, because they’ve been in war for literally more than thirty years. And women are sick and tired of it, and they don’t know—you know, on a local level, they don’t know any political figure, locally or nationally and/or even internationally, that they can go to to have their voices and have their plea be heard. So, because this is a religious and a conservative society, the women said, “Who better to pray to about peace than God?” These are all believing women. And so, they gathered for the first time publicly to pray for peace.
So, in Kandahar yesterday, we had more than—you know, we had hundreds of women show up, and all of them were praying for peace. The age group—we probably had women in their seventies and as young as ten and twelve. Even babies came to our event with their mothers. And it was a very peaceful and a calm event. All of the women were wearing light blue scarves as a symbol of peace and stability that they’d chosen.
And basically, it was a short event, but an event full of a lot of meaning, because the women want the world to know that they’re active in their pursuit—in their way of pursuing peace and stability, because a lot of the women know that the men, unfortunately, in our country, whether they’re in politics or not in politics, being either businessmen or just men in society, it seems that men are not trying hard enough to ask for peace. And so, the women have taken it upon themselves, that because they have never been part—an active part of the wars in the past thirty-plus years, they want to now be the active agents of calling for peace. […]“
Pictures from Peace with justice for Afghanistan