Saturday, April 23, 2016

Related imageWhat is wrong with men who think they have the right to rape their wives and literally chop off the noses of their women? Not much has been gained in the last 20 years for Afghan women’s rights. There are mixed gender schools built now after our war there but the boys and girls are taught their lessons separately. They get to have lunch and play time together. The United States has spent almost a billion dollars there to build up schools. America has been trying to give the Afghan woman a chance for equality but the men are unresponsive. As the troops recede there so are women’s rights fading. Afghanistan is listed as one of the worst places to be as a woman in the world.
Everyday there is a report of an act of violence against a woman either in the workplace or at home or in public. Why are the security systems in place there seemingly not willing to protect women? Women do band together and carry the coffins of fellow women on their shoulders for a proper burial. A full 18% per cent of women are victims of violence either sexual or physical. Often women end up in jail under the title of “moral crimes.”  There is no real definition of a moral crime. Rape is defined as an adultery. So a woman who is a victim of rape is supposed to spend 16 years in jail no matter how brutal the rape occurred. The number of women in jail has increased recently. Why aren’t the charges being brought against the men and not the women?
There are shelters created for women who run away from their abusive husbands now. They are afraid. The girls get married when they are 12 years old and flee by the time they are 17 or 18 years old. If their husbands find them they will surely die. None of this abuse would be happening if the government would be enforcing a 2009 law called The Law On The Elimination of Violence Against Women. No one should be allowed to cut the ears, or nose or beat a woman senseless. That is not the right of any man. These are crimes against humanity. Their Parliament refuses to ratify the law so in many cases impunity prevails. Women’s rights have always been a matter of politics in Afghanistan. The Taliban has been taking over towns and cities again after 15 years of peace. They arrive with a hit list of working women who are in shelters and destroy them and their work.
Women are in fear for their lives and are running away as quickly as they possibly can. 2015 has been the worst year of human casualties since 15 years ago. Women are excluded from all political peace talks. We all know that the legitimacy of any process is with participation of all genders and all sectors. This is not happening in Afghanistan. The government is deadlocked in terms of women’s rights and the Taliban is gaining control again. Recently fully covered women has taken to the streets in protest surrounded by American armed forces for protection. It will take more than protests to end the violence against women.

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