Afghanistan

COVID-19 and Quarantine

CHADARI

Guest post by Hasina Ghafoori*

‘I know that if I am infected, I could infect more than one thousand people. Why, why are we not helping our health sector? Why don’t we care about our health, our family’s health and our society? These are the questions I want to ask all of those who are making excuses to break this lockdown.’

Read Hasina’s full story about how she spends her lockdown and what beneficial habits she has developed at chadariproject.com/2020/07/26/covid-19-and-quarantine/

#Chadari #ChadariCOVID19Story #ChadariProject #AfghanWomen

*Hasina Ghafoori is a 25 years old girl from Kabul. She graduated from literature faculty of Kabul university and currently working for Swedish Committee for Afghanistan as HR Officer.

Afghanistan fails to accord human rights to women a Guest Post by Atifa Amiri

Basically, women’s rights are the most ethical concern that has a lot of history and is also ringed by historical moral theories.images

  • For example, Aristotle (384 B.C to 322 B.C) believed that women were fit only to be subject of men and they are born to be ruled in a constitutional sense, as citizens rule other citizens.
  • He also mentioned in his book “POLITICS”: the salve is wholly lacking the deliberative element, the female has it but it lacks authority.
  • But Kant (1724-1804) on his moral works clarifies that all citizen including the women have the rights and should be encouraged to attempt towards an active condition.

Women’s rights in Afghanistan

The implication of human rights, especially Women’s rights is more complicated in Afghanistan than any definition by the ancient Greek and German, philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche and many more.

Under the Taliban’s regime, women experience indescribably worse conditions and were deprived of their basic rights and had no access to any facilities for better development but, women were given only the most primary access to health care and medical. But even had not freedom of decisions-making and still somehow.

For example, the Burqa is, in fact, a cloth prison that incarcerates not only as a psychological, but also and physical burden on some Afghan women. It was forced by the Taliban, and is another violence that took freedom of choice from women in terms of their lifestyle.

Recognition of women’s rights should be birthrights and fundamental rights everywhere.  However, in Afghanistan,  addressing women’s rights is more challenging thanin the private sphere, because of the customs and the traditions that most of the people follow. In Afghanistan in a huge extent, women have been discriminated against and are struggling every day of their lives.

Challenges:

There are many challenges in addressing the issues of women’s rights in Afghanistan. The three decades of civil war ruined all sectors in Afghanistan which damaged the most but especially the schools and educations center ruined and burnt in different parts of the country.

Education:

  • Literacy, although literacy measures are very high between both males and females in Afghanistan but there are more challenges in women’s primary education. However, annually, in Afghanistan, millions and billions are being spent on the development projects and humanitarian aids and educations is one of them that has very slow growth rates.
  • Lack of proper schools in so many provinces of Afghanistan and the quality of contents and textbooks are opprobriously bad, lack of science lab supplies, regularity of teachers and so on these issues are something so general between both men and women but women are being force from family side to do not go to school which are the main issues.
  • In so many places in Afghanistan, still, women are not allowed to go outside. Many women empowerment projects have been donated by the western countries but have less results in outcomes.

Poverty:

  • Although the Afghan government provide a free educations for all but still due to poverty the poorer families are prefer their son’s educations to daughters.
  • Poverty caused the dismissal of women’s rights in terms of their educations also poverty is the root of all the problems. As Kofi Anan, seventh Secretary-General of United Nations, rightly said “extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.
  • The best policy to address women’s rights must be employment opportunities and networks for social services that support healthy families like, housing support, health care center, and child care.

Violence:

Violence against women is recognized as a major handicap to health and social development. Although this is a common concern in many geographical settings,  especially in the areas with a classic patriarchy. Women are facing challenges rights from their and fights against society at every point in time.

Violence against women in Afghanistan is so challenging, violence by the husband that is both physical and emotional like hitting, cheating, and violence by mother-in-law and other in-laws family is mostly physical violence. This a significant problem among the Afghan women in Afghanistan and I think is directly linked to poverty and economical problem.

Physical violence is one of the clearest and most serious forms of violence against women in Afghanistan and is not only limited to the aforementioned ways.  There other kinds of violence as well that its root can be sought in the culture, traditions and cultural practices like insulting women through harsh and abusive language. However, to a small extent, the prevalence of domestic violence decreased along with the increasing proportions of women to educations.

Women are considered as homemakers:

The other challenge that hinders Afghan women is that  are bound to remain within the framework of their home and the societal pressure demotivated them even before starting their path and most of Afghan men believes that women made to rise children and give birth to children.

Child marriage:

Basically child marriage is the violation of child rights and has a great negative impact on the health, growth, educational opportunities and mental development of a child.  Through child marriage, both girls and boys are suffering  strongly.

However on 9th April 2017, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Information launched a national action plan to annihilate early child marriage but, we could not get a serious result due to lack of implementation of the law is much more important than making the law. So human rights commission and ministry of women affairs must pay attention to the preventions of violence and implementations of the law.

So, in conclusion, the only solutions to get out from the current situation is educations and educated people.

A short commentary view on Afghan women situations   by Atifa Amiri, student of MA political science at JMI University New-Delhi.Picture1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her fear of falling

by Zakira Rasooli

 

Her fear of falling

She sighed and whispered silently, “May God help and protect the helpless and the struggling ones.”

I looked out the window to find any reason why she uttered these words.Picture1

Looking out of the car window, it appeared to me that I was really looking at a screen playing a movie on structural violence at that moment. A movie that evidently picturizes hunger, suppression, abuse, maltreatment, and the devastations of war.

I was heading home on public transport after spending my day doing field research. I was lost in my thoughts of the disheartening stories of working kids I had collected for my research project when the car door suddenly opened. The woman sitting beside me, who was closest to the door and would have fallen out, had I not held her back. In Afghanistan, drivers pack as many people as they can so they can earn more money per trip and without any consideration for the safety of their passengers.shuttlebus-157-orig

But little did I know that the unexpected opening of the door would present me with another painful, unwrapped story.

Coming back to the door, we realized that it was the driver’s assistant who had opened it to make sure it was latched properly. Nevertheless, it frightened the woman. Her fearful reaction to the opening of the door made the driver’s assistant and driver laugh. My mind hanged to processes. Men’s laughter at a woman’s fear of falling down reminded me of how women are constantly emotionally broken down in my country because of stupid gender rules. It made me contemplate the depths of my insights and discourse about men that were adversely influenced and shaped by the recent harassment cases that I had to struggle and deal with almost every day on the  way to my job. The stories of self-worth and damaging relationships of some female friends who had to compromise self-love and confidence. The narrated stories of women in Kandahar. Particularly, the recent story of a child marriage, in which the girl escaped and returned to her to her parents’ home only to be expelled by her parents and sent back to her husband’s house, later to be beaten and ill-treated  by him and her in-laws.violence-against-women-1468258151-3386

These all contributed to how the incident happening at the moment should have been processed and analyzed. For a while, I was struck by the irritating thoughts that perhaps these men who make the vulnerable go through sexual abuse and exploitation, marital rape, psychological abuse, femicide, slavery, and harassment to satisfy their desires, embody the worst demons in human form. Very well informed of the harm the acts cause, yet making women suffer as if their suffering is a source of pleasure and joy.

However, coming back from my male-bashing thoughts to the reality of the moment, I decided that I had enough of their laughter and the more time went on, the more unbearable it became. I knew I should interfere; I told the men that they should be sorry for their disgraceful behavior, but it was so disappointing that they kept making fun of how they scared the women with the sudden opening of the door. I sensed that my voice was filled with anger and a part of my sub- conscious mind reminded me of the norms of my suppressing culture that a woman must keep in mind while conversing with the opposite gender.

Nevertheless, I shut the conflict inside my head so that I could hear the woman. I noticed her talking to me and complaining about how her last few days had gone by.

She said, “I have been through worst these past few days, this is nothing compared to what I have experienced recently. It is okay, let them be.”

I asked if everything was alright with her. She was sobbing, couldn’t spare time to talk. Indeed, in a male-dominated society like ours, women expressing emotions through crying is considered guile by drama queens. Obviously, a woman having this in mind, wouldn’t cry. Yet, shading tears is the ultimate expression of deep emotional pain.  Having this realization in mind, I knew she was going through a very serious phase but I wondered what that could be. I asked if I could help her but she remained silent. After a while, she burst out that it was her husband.  He expelled her from their home.

This really concerned me about what she would do based on the fact that a lot of women are financially dependent on their husbands. That is why separation put the women in an impossible situation. However, I curiously asked if she had a job. She said she was a teacher and jumped into the topic of what her husband thinks of her as a teacher.

She asserted that “he tells me that I am a pimp”

She later asked me if a school was a place for pimping and pandering, desperately seeking my validation. She further explained how loyal she is to her husband and what treatment she gets in return.

Looking sad, she claimed, “I only have my husband’s number saved on my phone and except for him, no other man calls me anyway. It is that easy, if you set limits to how people treat you, you never get late-night calls from the opposite gender and you wouldn’t go on talking for hours and flirting with them through the phone.”images (1)

I wondered why she was telling me all this until she opened up that her husband got a call from his female colleague late at night, the previous night. He left for the other room and locked the door. He talked for hours with that girl.

“I wouldn’t mind it if it was a formal call and he wouldn’t have issues with me hearing their conversation. It bothered me the whole night but I didn’t dare to talk about it until the next morning when I finally spoke with him.” She said.

She asked the reason why he was doing this to her, but his response came in the form of a severe beating and also him throwing her out of the house. That is why, she was in the car heading to her only sister’s home with no clarity and many concerns about her future, especially now that she is considered a dishonored woman.

I reached my destination and dropped out of the car with many questions in mind. He is the one who breached the sacred bond of marriage, while she remained loyal. He lives free of all social constraints while she is bound to follow them. Yet, despite all this, it is her who was blamed, it was her who was beaten up and thrown out of the home, the one who broke rules of the sacred bond of marriage, not him, never him. Didn’t he have the reason to expel her from their home?

blame

Did he not have the reason to beat her up?

And did he not have the reason to kick her out of the house?

However, like many times before, I was struck by the fact of how flawed the marriage institutions were in my society. How it perfectly cages women while setting men free to break the rules. The destruction it has wrought on the society. Recalling similar stories I had known. Thinking about how each one of us knows of a story similar but preferring silence. Letting the destructions and sufferings keep winning over us as if both genders, by consent, desire to live this life of inequality, distress, and constant misery.

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Zakira Rasooli is a human rights activist and writer. She is the co-founder of conflict transformation movement named Afghanistan Unites and  is a senior political science student at American University of Afghanistan.