Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Human Rights Remain Neglected

Disturbed largely by insecurity and instability, Afghan government has not been able to concentrate much on the issues of human rights in Afghanistan; not even as much as necessary. It now seems that the government, on certain occasions, has even neglected the issues pertaining to human rights, which has led to different sorts of violation around the country. Though soon after its formation National Unity Government (NUG) promised to take tangible measures regarding the human rights issues in the country; there has not been any action taken to convert the promises into actions.
It is because of the continuous indifference of the government and other authorities that the annual report by Amnesty International (AI) has revealed widespread human rights violations in 2015 and the organization has voiced its deep concerns over the situation in Afghanistan as hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded, thousands of cases of violence against women have been registered and other crimes have also considerably increased.
The report states that insecurity, civilian casualties, violence against women and other criminal activities have considerably increased in Afghanistan and the Afghan government has failed to fight crime and bring criminals to justice. Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, has said in a statement, “Human rights have been treated as if it’s some kind of add-on whereas from an Amnesty International perspective, human rights is an absolute necessity, it’s a fundamental prerequisite.”
Afghanistan needs to play a tremendous role in the area of human rights because of the basic reason that there have been evident violations of human rights on Afghan soil and they have even continued after so much emphasis and efforts. Even today there are many example of clear violation of human rights throughout the country and they make the headlines in the national and international media, while there are many that go unrecorded. Looking at the plight of human rights in Afghan society, it is really important that the Afghan government must do something more than promises and commitments.
The instability and disorder in the country, though, have influenced all the strata of society; they have affected the weaker strata the most and unfortunately women form one of the same strata. They bear the brunt of the conflicts and war and have to give sacrifices in different ways. The same can be observed in Afghanistan. Decades of conflicts and wars have influenced them to a large extent and today, when there has been some sort of development in different fields of life, there is still margin of considerable development regarding the emancipation of women.
Afghan society is still tribal to certain extent and there are still tribal values and extremist religious practices that discriminate women to a large extent. Though the situation has now improved, Taliban’s era depicted the worst display of treatment of women. Violence was, then, very common against them and they suffered the worst consequences of display of extremist religious practices. They were beaten in public, stoned to death and even shot in the marketplace. They were enslaved in their abodes and were not considered anything more than a commodity.
After the involvement of international community in Afghanistan, the situation has improved but as the international troops are in the process of leaving the country, there are concerns regarding worsening of situation. Many intellectuals believe that the situation may get worse regarding the rights of women and the country may face a setback in this regard. Women themselves also fear the situation and the rebirth of Taliban type social practices towards them.
The authoritative institutions and individuals in the society are also not doing much in this regard. There are just promises while in reality there are no practical measures. Even the lawmakers are not ready to take action in this regard. It is unfortunate to note that Afghan authorities and many important personalities themselves have favored the recommendations and suggestions to limit the participation of women in social and political lives. As most of these authorities are themselves nourished in an extremist patriarchal society and do not have much consideration regarding the role and empowerment of women and consider it against their tribal values that they come out of their houses, they would never follow a movement to save women from violence and make them achieve their due place in Afghan society.
It is really important that government must not support the discriminatory ideas against the women. If it itself encourages the intentions that may undermine the rights of women, it would be very difficult to expect the same from common people. Moreover, the international community in this regard can also play an important role. Though it has mentioned on almost all the important occasions that human rights, especially women rights, have to be given top priority by the Afghan government if it wills to have the support of major countries, it has not been able to make Afghan government pursue a really practical and comprehensive strategy regarding the issue, which is the only solution for preserving the women rights and dignity to a certain extent in Afghan society. If given their due rights, Afghan women have all the potential and prudence to inspire the world with their abilities and prove that they are not inferior to men at all.