The so-called gains that Afghan women have gained in the presence of U.S and its allied forces in Afghanistan in the last ten years as the Afghan government calls it in public and national and international conferences are in the fear of being lost. The government with ultimate surety has been trying to prove to the Afghan people and world at large that the status of Afghan women is quite better than ever before and that they are a part of Afghan government now and that they are able to fight for their rights. The government has been also adding that the departure of the U.S and its allied forces in the country would have no impact on the status of women after 2014.
But the recent miserable public execution of an Afghan woman in central province of Parwan only a few kilometer away from the heart of Kabul city and the targeted killing of Hanifa Safi, the Head of Women’s Affairs Department of Laghman province by a remote control IED that left her husband injured, including her children and six other civilians is another shaking news and a reminder for the Afghan government and world at large that Taliban style rule is in its way to rock back once again as per their extreme growth in most peaceful parts of the country and their brutal execution of local people.
According to officials, a member of the Taliban last week in throng of local people, including small children, village elders and Mullahs shot a woman on the head and left her in a cold blood in accusation of adultery in Qimchok village in Shinwari district of Parwan province.
The shot rings out and there comes no response from the helpless woman sitting on the rocky ground shaking in fear and screaming that she did nothing to be killed under Burqa. But the brutal Talib, pointing a rifle at her just from a few feet away like a child play while the local people are watching and recording a video of her but there is still no one to stand that she is innocent and that there is no law in any religion to execute someone in such a way or call the police.
The man in a white turban, with long white beard, citing the verses from the Holy Koran by saying “Allah o Akbar” the children and elders standing all around on a hillside are following his words and orders his man to shot her on the head. The man makes five fires but the last three fires make her slump backwards helplessly on the rocky ground so hard.
The officials further added that the reason behind the brutal execution of this woman was that two Taliban commanders had a dispute over her. In order to save their reputation among the community, executed the woman and said the woman to have illegal contact with a man who has not been brought to their so-called court. The man with a white turban, reciting the words from the holy Koran faked a court to decide about the fate of this woman on the spot and in one hour talks took her life so wildly.
in response to such wild act of Taliban, Fawzia Koofi, one of the well-known women activists in a statement said, “We need to take a bold step against this ongoing crisis in the country and for that we need the support of human rights organizations at large so that the status of women and their rights should be protected, so that the Afghan women have equal opportunities inside the government in order to be able to fight for their rights and build their status that would enable them live a peaceful life free from injustice and discrimination.”
In the face of this horrifying cold-blooded murder of an Afghan woman that was carried out in front of a crowd of people on Sunday, the U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, including the U.S Secretary of States, Hillary Clinton and the U.S embassy in Kabul condemned this brutal execution of this helpless woman in strongest possible terms and said this to be a “cold-blooded murder.”
While talking to media the U.S Embassy to Kabul also added that the United States after the collapse of the brutal regime of Taliban has been devotedly supporting the Afghan government in every sectors, with particular focus on women and children to enable the Afghan girls and women to come back to their classes, have access to basic health centers and make participation in country’s both political and social affairs, fight for their rights and enjoy an equal right just like other members.
Thus, they have always remained the priority for the U. S government as they have been the country’s worst affected group under the Taliban rule. But such horrifying murdering of this woman and extreme growth of Taliban is disappointing us as we watch the helplessness of Karzai’s government against the perpetrators.
The statistics indicate that the status of women is getting further critical and there are hundreds of such cases taking place against the women everyday which are not covered by media. The status of women is changing tremendously from bad to worst. This public execution by the Taliban is the latest and most horrifying case among the most shocking examples of violence against women in the country and this is a message to the Afghan women that the Taliban are getting stronger and that they will take the full control after the departure of U.S and its allies beyond 2014.
According to Human Right Watch’s 2012 annual report, almost 9 out of 10 women suffer physical, sexual and psychological violence or forced and early marriages, at least once in their lifetimes.
In addition, more than 400 of students and teachers at girl’s schools in the country have been hospitalized with suspected poisoning this year alone which is still in its way. Girls were forbidden to go to school when the Taliban ruled the country from 1996 to 2001 and it seems that the same cruel rule is coming up to stop the girls from their classes. More surprisingly, there are 14 shelters for abused women in the country, but there have not been a single small reaction from them in the last couple of years despite bold investment on women rights by U.S government, including dozens of other national and international NGOs working on the ground to protect women and their rights against these culprits.
It is quite considerable that since the security responsibility has been transferred to Afghan National Army and the night raids operation against the insurgents were stopped, we can see a concerning growth in prosecution of Afghan women by Taliban while most of the peaceful provinces in the country are getting under the domination of Taliban.
To be clear and honest, this wasn’t justice; this was murder and an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty against a helpless woman who had done nothing wrong. Even if she had committed such thing, there is law and the government should have acted before anything happened to her.
The Taliban’s continued brutality toward innocent civilians, particularly women, must be condemned in the strongest terms. There has been too much progress made by too many brave Afghans, especially on women sectors, for this kind of criminal behavior to be tolerated. But unfortunately, on the day the woman was executed by Taliban, there were hundreds of people on the ground watching her and doing her movie, but there was no one to call upon the police to come and stop such brutal murder.
Above all, for the Afghan nation, particularly for the women, peace process is the ultimate meaning of success and satiability and should not be a deal on the basis of some bucks. The nation can’t find their ways without legitimacy and accountability from the government.
We need to build procedure of decentralization, and free and transparent election is the only way for the Afghan women and other stockholders to participate. What the nation need is to have a democratic process in which citizens can take part to choose leaders and make other important decisions by voting. The Taliban will never come back as a regime again with their allies to torture the nation if we can have an accountable and honest leader.
The Article First Published in Daily Outlook Afghanistan Group of Newspapers on July 14, 2012