The fact is, Afghanistan has never been kind to its women and children. Perhaps, whenever the war broke out in any part of the world, it affected the women and children the most, particularly the continuous war of more than three decades in Afghanistan which left only destruction, depression and vulnerabilities among women and children whose dream in their whole life time was to live a normal life just like others, in peace and relief.
During the last more than three decades of constant war, two million children lost their lives as a result, four to five million children have been disabled, 12 million have been left homeless, more than one million left orphaned or separated from their parents, and approximately ten million children have been psychological traumatized.
Most amazingly, every child knows the word gun before the word pen and the word war before peace. Adding to that, more than half are malnourished, and one-third are underweight. Estimated, one-third of them are aged under 14 are working, though the real number is probably higher. Forty-three percent are forced married against their will.
Some days back, I read an article that really shocked me. This time it wasn’t about the war, but it is worse than the war, because it does involve people losing their life in violence by their male household. According to reports, nearly half of the marriages in Afghanistan involve children brides, most of whom are forced to marry before the age of 15.
Since lack of knowledge and awareness completely dominated our society, these child brides get pregnant shortly after their marriages. How amazing, women in other parts of the world have their dreams to live but unfortunately, in Afghanistan the dreams turn-out to be very horrifying because it is the matter of death and live.
These brides are living a terrible life after their married. Domestic violence is wildly going on, husband tortures, the mother-in-law tortures and every members of the family at home just take away all the dreams and hope that she was waiting for despite of the so-called fragile changes that we call being gained in the life of women after the collapse of Taliban. The fact is, we don’t hear and see the worst of all in TV channels and newspapers.
Do we mean freedom from women to talk and the freedom to have access to a basic right, the freedom to be able to express their feelings and share their ideas, the freedom to get education, the freedom to take part in social, political and cultural development and the freedom to have access to law? To be honest; we don’t see such freedom for women in our society.
The government fortunately has had their many comments and statements on women’s rights, but unfortunately yet has no accountable action has been taken to secure their rights. The states parties have had no modification on social and cultural patterns of conduct of women and girls through public education, information, education and communication strategies with a view to achieving the elimination of harmful cultural and traditional practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes, or on stereotyped roles for women and girls.
The current case of a woman who was killed by her husband for giving birth to a baby girl is the best evidence of all. It was last week that the man with his mother living in the province of Kunduzin northern Afghanistan, wrapped a rope around the women’s neck and strangled her to death. Such horrifying cases continue to hunt women, yet no accountable steps are taken to tackle these inhuman brutalities.
The worst of all was the other horrifying news image of an only 15-year-old girl being locked in basement and tortured by her husband for more than six months.Her news was captured by television news cameras in every newspaper and headlines around the world forcing her to become a prostitute re-wrote the history of Afghanistan in “Violence against women”. It was the ever shocking news in the history the country ever had.
Such cases openly highlight both the persisting problems and the fragile gains of women in the last 10 years that they gained through much trouble and devotions. The very recent fresh wounds and case of Sahar Gul is the very clear evidence of all to prove that women and girls are still under shocking abuse in Afghanistan.
What has been achieved for the women seems very untrue. The government of Afghanistan and other government in the world all claim that they developed the status of women in Afghanistan and that women are well-protected from any kind of violence and discriminations but what we currently perceive, seem very hopeless.
Women in Afghanistan are only based to work at home. Womenfearmen living in every part of Afghanistan,they are extremely restricted from working outside or going to a doctor with a household. According to reports “women now represent 40% of the global labour force, 43% of the world’s agriculture labour force.
There is a large quantity of working women but it is not broadcasted in Media due to the men dominated-society.”
Giving equal opportunities to the women in Afghanistan will lead to an outstanding society both for the current society and for the next upcoming generation of Afghan society. Women have greater control over the household resourcesthan men.Theyplay the best role in increasing the economic growth of the society.
Above all, there still seems great game of power imbalances going in the country which needs a bold squeezing. Today dominated men must give women equal working opportunitiesand keep the gender balance equal in the society. The freedom the men have must be also given to the women. Their commitments can be the ultimate boom in economic development in the country. The government must do more to implement or enforce an equal law that is to protect women from discrimination and violence. The government must make sure that women and children are given a protected shelter under which they can enjoy the rights of equality with justice.
The Article First Published in Daily Outlook Afghanistan Group of Newspapers on February 02, 2012