Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Taliban Lash a Girl in Public

There may be claims every now and then that the violence against women has decreased to a large extent in Afghanistan and discrimination against them have diminished, as well. However, the facts and figures show a different situation. Though there have been some improvements but the overall situation is still pathetic and a great deal of work still needs to be done. Moreover the commitments by the National Unity Government (NUG) that it would take tangible measures to deal with the issue seems to have ended up in smoke as NUG has been engulfed some other issues and has totally neglected the issues pertaining to women rights and violence against them. However, it is important to understand that without dealing with these issues, it would be very difficult for the government to bring about any positive change in the society regarding the role and status of women.
Taliban had the worst sort of practices against women and they treated them in the most brutal way. Women were punished and killed in the public and their most of the rights were violated. It is threatening to even think about the reversal of such a system; nonetheless, such practices are still going on in certain parts of the country – mostly in the ones where Taliban have their dominancy.
A recent video footage by Tolo News shows a girl being lashed in public by a Taliban commander in Faryab province as a punishment for having an alleged affair with a stranger. The footage shows that the Taliban commander announces a decree against the girl among the armed Taliban men and then lashes the girl, whose name is Bebe Gul and is reported to be resident of Pashto Kot district.
Recently, there seems to be a rise in different sort of violence carried out against women in such kangaroo courts but there has not been any action against the perpetrators. If the culprits keep on escaping the justice by Afghanistan formal courts and justice system, it would be very difficult to discourage such practices.  
In a reaction to the lashing, the Human Rights Commission strongly condemned the action. And the coordinator of the women’s right section in Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has said, “The Human Rights Commission strictly condemns the incident and asks the government to implement the law and see that justice is carried out.”
Government definitely needs to divert its attentions towards such issues and needs to take initiatives that will be helpful in discouraging such actions and stopping them from happening.
The fact is that the incidents violating women rights in Afghanistan have not been stopped through effective practical steps. In fact the changes are prevalent only on the exterior while from within the Afghan society still lacks the modernity and development it needs in order to reach to a respectable position. The Afghan social structure has been vehemently dominated by religious extremism and tribal nepotism. Though these factors have affected almost everyone, women have been intensely influenced as they belong to the weaker strata of the society. Most of the self-designed religious doctrines and tribal norms are against the women and discriminate their basic rights. Unfortunately, these norms and doctrines have even gone to the extent of violence and have tortured women physically – mostly in the public.
It is important to note that the voices that are heard in media and the cases that are brought to media may get some attention but there are many other cases that are not brought to media because there are many women who as a result of fear never raise their voices before their voices are made completely silent. It is also unfortunate to note that those who do raise their voice do not always get justice. They are discouraged by society in such a way that they should never again try to do so. They are made examples so that others who may intend to do so must be discouraged.
In many parts of the country still the Taliban outlook about women persists, that believes that women are no more than other personal possession of the male members of the society. They can buy or sell them, use them as convenient and can discard them at their will. No one is there to object.
In addition to that, women in Afghan society, like the women in other tribal societies, are considered the honor of the family and they are bound within the chains of so called sanctity. If they disagree to follow their families they are killed through honor-killings.
It is necessary that Afghan government should take serious notice of the discrimination and violence against women. It should now be understood that unless law enforcement agencies carry out concrete measures to enact the law so as to control violence against women, it would be very difficult to control the situation within a society where women are not considered even human beings. However, at the same time it is necessary to address the root causes of the problem. It is important to bring about changes in the way the women are perceived within our society. Unless, they are considered human beings and important part of the society it is very difficult to control discrimination and violence against them.