Wednesday, March 11, 2009

European Press Coverage: Peace with Justice in Afghanistan

A wonderful short segment on Danish TV2.

Spanish News.

We also know that the action was covered by the Norwegian press, with a picture on the front page of a national paper, and the German press. If you have links to these clippings, please send them to us at

More then 1500 women come togather to Pray for Peace with Justice in Herat Province

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Associated Press Marks the Courageousness of Women praying for Peace in Afghanistan

'A U.N. report this week on human rights in Afghanistan said that "threats and intimidation against women in public life or who work outside the home have seen a dramatic increase."

Still, there are Afghan women passionately working for change. In cities across Afghanistan on Sunday, groups of women donned blue headscarves to show their support for women's rights and prayed together for peace and justice.'

Afghan women in Kabul praying for peace with justice. Sunday, March 8, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
Afghan women in Kandahar praying for peace with justice. Sunday, March 8, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

1000 women in Mazar Pray for Peace with Justice

UN Afghanistan holds an inter-faith prayer in support of the women of Afghanistan praying for peace with justice

UNAMA Deputy SRSG Bo Asplund, Special Assistant Joanne Barrett, Laura Demitris and Shapari Taxell attending the UN Afghanistan prayer for peace with justice in support of the women of Afghanistan
UNIFEM Afghanistan participating in the prayer for peace with justice

Women Pray for Peace in their 1000's throughout Afghanistan

2000 women congregate in Kabul to pray for peace with justice in Afghanistan!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Women of Afghanistan Demand Peace with Justice

Across Afghanistan, thousands of women gather to demand a peace for the country that does not compromise women's human rights . . . . Read their statement.

Come, Pray for Peace with Justice in Afghanistan

We, the woman of Afghanistan, are gathered to call for peace with justice, to show the world we are ready to be equal partners for peace. We are not invisible. We are here.

During the years of conflict, women suffered the harshest of punishments, and their most basic rights were taken away. And, we are among the first to organize ourselves to demand an end to the conflict and the start of accountability. There can be no peace without justice.

We are the victims of war, but more importantly we are the messengers of peace. We must be included in building peace in our country. Only the bird with equal wings can fly.

We are united in a single vision. We come together from different provinces, united by the same concerns and the same challenges in our lives, and we see the same solution: peace with justice in Afghanistan.

Our solidarity goes beyond ethnic, language, tribal affiliations, which the enemies of this nation use to try and show that we are divided. We are not divided, we are together.

Peace does not come through guns. We will not have peace in Afghanistan until we are guaranteed education for our daughters, jobs for our mothers, healthcare for our sisters, and dignity for all. This cannot be negotiated.

The women of Afghanistan risk their lives to come out today. But we are not afraid. We are the sign of hope: for a new day of peace with justice for the people of Afghanistan.

ما زنان افغانستان برای فراخوانی صلح با عدالت گردهم آمده ایم، تا به جهان نشان دهیم که ما آماده هستیم تا شرکاء مساوی برای صلح باشیم. ما محسوس نیستیم. ما اینجا هستیم. در جریان سالهای جنگ، زنان خشن ترین مجازات را تحمل کردند، و حقوق بسیار ابتدایی شان از ایشان گرفته شده بود. و ما در میان اولین ها هستیم که خود را منسجم میسازیم تا اختتام جنگ و آغاز جوابگویی را مطالبه نماییم و هیچگاهی صلح بدون عدالت بوده نمیتواند
ما قربانیان جنگ هستیم، اما مهمتر از آن ما پیام آوران صلح هستیم. ما باید در ایجاد صلح در کشور مان شامل باشیم. فقط پرندگان با بالهای مساوی میتوانند پرواز کنند
ما برای یک هدف واحد متحد هستیم. ما از ولایات مختلف آمده ایم، ما بواسطه دیدگاه های مشترک و چالش های مشرک زندگی مان باهم متحد هستیم، و راه حل مشترکی را مشاهده میکنیم: صلح با عدالت در افغانستان
همبستگی ما فراتر از وابستگی های نژادی، لسانی، و قومی است، چیزی که دشمنان این ملت کوشش میکنند بواسطه آن ما را جدا ازهمدیگر جلوه دهند. ما از هم جد نیستیم. ما با همدیگر هستیم
صلح بواسطه تفنگ بدست نمیاید. ما نمیتوانیم در افغانستان صلح داشته باشم مگر اینکه تعلیم به دختران خویش، کار به مادران خویش، حفظ الصحه به خواهران خویش و کرامت به همه را تضمین کنیم. و این با مذاکره بدست نمیاید
زنان افغانستان زندگی شانرا به مخاطره میندازند تا امروز برون آیند. مگر ما نمی هراسیم. ما نشانه امید هستیم: برای یک روز جدید صلح با عدالت برای مردم افغانستان

Blue Scarves Around the World

Farida Astana, Women's Council of National Assembly, Afghanistan

Qadria Yazidanparast, Member of Parliament, Afghanistan

Press Release: Afghan Women Unite in a Public Call for Peace with Justice

The Women of Afghanistan – United in the call for peace with justice

7 March 2009

To mark International Women’s Day at least 15,000 women across Afghanistan will come together, united, in a call for peace with justice.

On 8 March at 10am across the country, women will meet in their thousands wearing blue scarves, to stand side by side, regardless of language, ethnic and tribal differences, to pray for a common vision for the future, for peace with justice in Afghanistan.

The gatherings will take place in Kandahar, Bamyan, Kabul, Herat, Mazar, Daikundi, and Jalalabad

In making history, this will be the first gathering in Afghanistan of this size and scope, uniting Afghan women under a common vision of the future.

Last year on 8 March 2008 three brave women from Kandahar defied all the odds to bring together more than 1500 women in one of the worlds most hostile environments, Kandahar.

The women came together in peace, to meet in a public space to pray for peace with justice in Afghanistan, and the action caught the attention of the world.

“We can not gain peace only through guns, through bombs, and through killing people. If that were the case, we would have had peace by now. Real peace relates to security, but it also relates to justice, equality and access,” said a young woman peace activist from Mazar.

“Afghan women are tired of being subject to egregious acts of violence, they are tired of watching their family and friends killed, and they refuse to accept the pervasive political, cultural, and economic violence which woman face on a daily basis both in their homes and in their pursuit to participate in public life”, Rangina Hamidi, Kandahar

This year, to highlight the importance of seeking a regional solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and to demonstrate that all women stand together for peace with justice, the 8 March action will be supported by radio messages from Nobel Laureates and other prominent men and women in the region.

The messages will be played on Afghan and international radio throughout 8 March.

The cross-border women already participating in the radio message are:

Ms. Shirin Ebadi (Iran) – Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist. She is the first Iranian to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Ms. Asma Jahangir (Pakistan) – Asma Jahangir is a Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist. She has been the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief since 2004 (first attached to the former Commission on Human Rights, now to the Human Rights Council).

Ms. Bushar Gohar (Pakistan) – Bushar Gohar is a long time human rights defender and an MP in one of Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Ms. Zeng Jinyan (China) – Zeng Jinyan is the online progeny of the protesters who blocked a column of advancing tanks during China's Tiananmen uprising in 1989, and is a vocal human rights defender in China. She is currently on hunger strike.

Ms. Mutabar Tajibayeva (Uzbekistan) – Mutabar Tadzhibaeva is a human rights defender, chairwoman of the human rights organization Fiery Hearts and a founder of the national movement Civil Society. She is a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and the 2008 Laureate of the Martin Ennis Award. In 2005 she was arrested and jailed in Uzbekistan for political opposition, and was recently released in June 2008 for health reasons.

For more details on Praying for Peace with Justice

GRB in Afghanistan

Hunderds of women attend a discussion on Women's Fair Benefit from National Budget as a gaurantee for sustainable balanced development - Kabul, Afghanistan

Hosaun Bano Ghazanfar, Minister of Ministry of Woman's Affairs, wearing a blue scarf in support of the women praying for peace with justice in Afghanistan.

Shinkai Karokhil, Member of Parliament, wearing a blue scarf in support of the women praying for peace with justice in Afghanistan.

Afghan Women Speak

Eight Years Later, Challenges and Hopes.

A discussion panel highlighting the multiple realities of living as women in Afghanistan today. Commission on the Status of Women, New York, NY, March 2009.

Wazhma Frogh, Afghan Women's Network with Susan Rice, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, both wearing blue scarves in support of the women of Afghanistan praying for peace with justice.
Wazhma Frogh, Afghan Women's Network, giving Susan Rice, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, a blue scarf in support of the women praying for peace with justice in Afghanistan.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The BLUE SCARF Campaign Continues!

Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Amina Afzaili and Shinkai Karokhail, Member of Parliament, Afghanistan

Rahela Sidiqi, Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) and Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

Nooria Wesal and Brigadier General Khatol Mohammad Zai

Momina Yari, Commissioner, Independent Elections Commission

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Support the Woman of Afghanistan this March 8th by Wearing a Blue Scarf

UNIFEM Executive Director Ines Alberdi with Najia Zewari and other womens rights defenders, wearing blue scarves to support the women of Afghanistan praying for peace with justice.

WEAR A BLUE SCARF on March 8th, encourage your friends to wear a blue scarf on March 8th, take a picture, and send it to us at

Afghanistan is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman

Atifa Bibi, an Afghan school girl, recovers in a hospital after two men on a motorbike threw acid on her in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008. Two men on a motorbike threw acid on six Afghan girls walking to school in Kandahar on Wednesday, hospitalizing two of the girls with serious burns, said Dr. Sharifa Siddiqi. Four others were treated and released. (AP Photo by Allauddin Khan)

This Years Praying for Peace with Justice Action!

On March 8th, at 10am, more than TEN THOUSAND Afghan women will gather in public spaces around Afghanistan, including in Kandahar City, to pray for peace with justice in Afghanistan. All wearing a sky-blue scarf, the women will stand together, united across generations, languages, geographic locations, ethnic identity and tribal affiliations, to be present for peace and to call for peace with justice in Afghanistan.

Asking women to come out of their homes is a provocative and dangerous act in many parts of the Afghanistan, and therefore this act symbolizes the scope of women’s desire for peace with justice, and demonstrates their demand to participate and be present for peace in Afghanistan.On 8 March, we congratulate all women of the world, and in particular we show our solidarity with the women of Afghanistan, who are present today praying for peace with justice.

For more information on the action please contact:

This year, 10,000 Afghan women are expected to come out for peace with justice.

Afghan women will come out of their homes on March 8th to stand united, regardless of langauge, tribal and ethnic differences, to pray for a common vision of the future: peace with justice.

Mazar, Afghanistan

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Last year 1500 women came out to call for peace in the most hostile place in the world, Kandahar City. 2009, the call for peace with justice continues

March 2008: The Women in Kandahar City Unite to Pray for Peace

Afghan women make call for peace
By Pam O'Toole BBC News

Many women say they are fed up with violenceWomen across Afghanistan have been holding meetings to call for peace in their country. Organisers say that at least 1,000 women turned out to hold prayer meetings in six main provinces and share their experiences. The event - called the Women's National Peace Prayer - was held in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, and at other locations across the country.
Such events are highly unusual in war-torn Afghanistan. The country remains deeply conservative and patriarchal, particularly in the south.

Under the Taleban regime women were banned from working. When several hundred women were allowed to pray for peace publicly in Kandahar earlier this year, it was said to be the first event of its kind.
Now, with violence spreading across the country, women from five other provinces have joined those in Kandahar to raise their voices for peace. "This is very unusual," said Rangina Hamidi one of the organisers, who argues that the event shows the unity of Afghan women.
"I don't think this has happened in the history of Afghanistan - first of all the fact that six different provinces organised themselves together, for no purpose other than peace.
"They made the same loud cry - that women are sick and tired of killing and the deaths that come."
'Risking their lives'

Organisers say some Afghan women were clearly worried about getting involved in such events.
The Kandahar mother whose idea sparked these meetings had asked that her name not be revealed because her family would not approve.
Rangina Hamidi said those attending the event in the violence-torn province of Kandahar were particularly happy and relieved that their public meeting passed off without threats or violence.
"They were indeed risking their lives," she said, because we really did not know how we would be received. "And to be honest, we hadn't informed any of the security forces to protect us. We wanted to be as natural as possible. "So when women take such an action on themselves, they felt proud of themselves and felt proud of their sisters."
Organisers say that Wednesday's meetings marked the beginning of a movement. The goal now is to spread such events across all 34 provinces.