Balkh: Thousands sign plea for women's participation in peace 

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BALKH: Women’s rights activists attended a program to campaign for women’s participation and role in the peace process in Mazar-e-Sharif city, the capital of Balkh province, on Tuesday. 
Balkh Women’s Association launched the drive to collect women’s signatures on how peace talks should proceed.  
Members of the association in a subsequent news conference said the campaign had collected about 7,000 signatures from women. 
Belqis Ataei, head of the Balkh Women’s Association, said that the campaign aimed to strengthen Afghan women’s presence, participation, and role in the peace process.
Several women’s rights activists who attended the press conference also stressed that genuine peace could not be achieved without women. Meanwhile, the participants in the meeting called on the warring parties to engage in peace talks and to involve women throughout the process.
This comes as various women’s rights organizations have launched the campaign to collect women’s signatures for peace in 15 provinces besides Balkh.