Over the courses of history, many countries have terribly mistreated women. Women were considered as second-class citizens or men’s properties. Nowadays, women should have freedom and to live a life without fear of being abused, tortured or enslaved. But despite the world’s development, women’s rights violations are still occurring all over the world. In fact, thousands of women are still deprived of even the most basic human rights every day in Afghanistan, while their voices are completely ignored. These gender-based discrimination issues have been affecting Middle Eastern women’s lives in many negative ways for decades. They increase a woman’s risks to poverty, violence, health issues and lack of education as well (“Women’s Rights are Human’s”). In this essay, I will focus on the violations of women’s rights in Afghanistan , why it should be eradicated and what can be done about those issues.
Women’s rights in Afghanistan have always been a mutual international concern. Over the past decades, Afghan women have struggled to gain freedom and dignity. Unfortunately, the rulers of Afghanistan pay no concerns for women’s rights. But those who speak out are considered being against their religion, Islam (Boone). This is why Afghan women hardly ever protest or raise their voices while they were abused through many different Afghanistan’s governments. During the rule of the Mujahideen, who rose to power in 1992, women were raped and tortured by soldiers (“Women’s Rights in Afghanistan”). In addition to that, they were banned from appearing on televisions and were forced to wear veils to cover their faces. (“Women’s Rights in Afghanistan”).
After the fall of the Mujahideen, the Taliban took over Afghanistan and women were treated even worse. The Taliban immediately created laws which banned women from going to any kind of work except for medical-involved work. This greatly increased the women’s rate of poverty and also caused the number of teachers in the country dramatically dropped down, for women were usually teachers before the laws were applied. However, women who were teachers started to secretly open classes at their homes to educate mostly girls the basic knowledge. Unfortunately, these schools did not survive for very long. Illegal teachers who were caught by the Taliban were tortured, persecuted, imprisoned and in some cases, were killed. After finding out the existence of these schools, the Taliban also burnt them down; this then led to a serious education problem for the whole country. Besides, when the Taliban rose to rule the country, many educated, high-ranking women were forced to wander on the street, giving up their properties and sell everything they own. Suddenly, those women, who were once respected by societies, were then became beggars or even prostitutes in order to feed their familie. Another law that the Taliban has created to gain control over women did not allow women to leave their houses without their burqas or family male escorts. In fact, some women could never leave their homes for in some cases, they had no male relatives or husbands, or they couldn’t afford burqas (“Women’s Rights in Afghanistan”).
After the fall of Taliban, Hamid Karzai took over Afghanistan and became the first democratically elected President of Afghanistan in 2004 (“Women’s Rights in Afghanistan”). Elected by citizens, women’s rights violations were thought to be stopped under Karzai’s government. Ironically, the situation has gotten worse (Boone). In fact, Hamid Karzai even passed more laws to restrict and gain control over women.
On the run for president in 2009, Hamid Karzai has quietly issued an incredibly cruel regulation that granted the rights for Shia men to deny their wives’ food and basic needs if they refuse to obey their husbands sexual demands to win supports from the Shias, which are 10% of Afghanistan’s population. This means an Afghan woman is considered to be disobeyed if she is not ready to entertain her husband and fulfill his reasonable sexual enjoyment (Boone). In my opinion, I found this a very brutal and selfish act of President Karzai, for he used women as a tool to convince the Shias to vote for him, for he hurt millions of women for his own benefits. Not to mention the fact that he had won the election, according to my interpretation, many people must have supported his new laws or agree with his perspectives that women worth less than men. After the re-election, Karzai also created legislatures which stated that husbands and grandfathers are the ones who exclusively own the guardianships of their children. By now, Karzai had also created laws which allow women to go to work again, but they need to permission from their husbands. These laws have clearly underrated and offended a woman’s ability for turning women into tools to serve the men’s demands and needs. Desperate and suppressed, a surprising number of Afghan women had set themselves on fire after the brutal laws were passed to free themselves from the abuses and most of all, to accentuate the international community for help. Unfortunately, no one really knew about their deaths for they came underreported by the Afghan government (“Afghan Women: Far From”).
A later report showed that almost half of the imprisoned women were accused for “moral violations” such as running away from home or adultery. There are many cases in Afghanistan, where women fled away to escape the abuses at home. Ironically, the ones that were responsible for the abuse did not have to face any legal actions while the victims are imprisoned for escaping from the abuser. Plus, Afghanistan’s legal system often punishes women who raised their voices about being raped or abused in many ways. This is why countless number of women chose to stay quiet and suffer the injustice rather than raising their voices (Peter).
Women’s inequality does not only involve in sexual abusing, domestic violence or health, but it is also involved in income, labor and salary. Although women work as much as men do, or sometimes even harder than men, they often get paid only three third of men’s salary. Plus the difficulty in leaving homes to work, the poverty rate of women in Afghanistan is incredibly high. Poverty leads to many other dangerous factors such as lack of education and more risks of being abused. In fact, according to Global Pulse and a research in Afghanistan, 85% of women has no proper education (“Women’s Rights in Afghanistan,”), 87% of Afghan women aren’t able to read or write when only 30 percent of Afghan girls have access to education. 70-80% of Afghan women have to face forced marriage and one in every three women experienced physical, psychological or sexual violence (Qazi).
I believe that nowadays, in the 21st century with countless advanced technology, we can, and we must, eradicate these women’s rights violations in Afghanistan. This is because women aren’t any weaker than men, they are also born human beings, therefore there are no reasons why they should be treated worse than men. In fact, history has shown that women can be as powerful as men in account of being influential like Marie Curie, the woman that has made a big change in the world’s science department for her research on radioactivity and was the first person who was honored for two Nobel awards, and many more. Besides, a strong country needs the incorporation of all citizens, which includes both gender – men and women. But if men are respected and women are abused and uneducated when women are almost half of the population in Afghanistan, the country cannot proceed to develop. Without women, life wouldn’t be possible either. They are the ones who carry babies for nine months, endure the pain of giving birth and the ones who are willing to take care of the children, who are willing to take care of you. Without the love and care of mothers, a child wouldn’t be able to grow up happily. Instead of abusing and taking advantages on women, why don’t people think about the hard times their mothers had gone through in order to take care of them, in order for them to grow? They deserve to be respected, cared and thanked. Besides, if these violations go on, Afghan women will have to live under the control of men and in fear of abuses and tortures when no one deserves to feel that way. By stopping the women’s rights violations in Afghanistan, we are bringing Afghan women peace, the freedoms they deserve and the chances to escape from poverty and win back their own dignity. In other words, by stopping those violations, we’re bringing the injustice to justice, we’re transforming the life of each Afghan woman.
In my opinion, I think that bringing justice to Afghan women wouldn’t be successful without the help of the international communities, revolutions and most of all, education. I strongly believe that one of the main reasons that led to women’s rights violations is the lack of education. Many Afghan women do not know or understand about the basic inalienable rights they inherit as human beings (Peter). For generations after generations, Afghan society has found justification to continue mistreating women (“Women’s Rights in Afghanistan,”). But it is partly because Afghan women do not know how to report to the police, or bring their cases to justices and get attention from the international communities that these situations has never stopped (Peter). To stop this problem, I think that international interferences and revolutions are needed. First of all, the only way to make the women’s real voices to be heard is to protest, demonstrate, or to be on televisions and news. In order for this to happen, the foreigners have to support them and help everyone to raise their awareness about their cases. Soon, this would be the international concern and the president would be forced to change his policies to limit their restrictions on women, or even better, eliminate all of the restrictions on women. The second way this situation can be stopped is the change of governments. In my opinion, Afghanistan needs a leader who understands and respects human rights, who care for every citizens no matter what their gender are. I believe that the government is the one who takes responsible for this act; the government is the one who can make the biggest changes.
In conclusion, I believe that it is our responsibilities to make our world a better place to stay. In order to do that, we need to incorporate to eradicate all the issues that are happening all around the world, which includes women’s rights. Women act as one of the most important role in everyone’s lives, they should be respected, not underrated. The key to open the doors to freedom for the Afghan women are in our hands. It is our job to help make the voices of those women who were hurt to be heard and together, gain dignity and freedom to all women and stop those women’s rights violations to reform a society where gender-based discriminations, domestic violence against women and women’s rights violations are eliminated once and for all.
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