Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Standing Firm against ‘Baad’

Though there are different sorts of discrimination against women in Afghanistan, Baad is one of the practices that evidently violates the right of women as being human beings. It is a practice wherein girls or women are given for the settlement of disputes. It evidently considers girls or women to be commodity who could be given away as per the will of the men, and this practice is a characteristic of tribal society. As Afghanistan is a tribal society to a large extent, the practice of Baad is frequent in most of the villages throughout the country.
Recently, some civil society activists highlighted the issue in the capital Kabul through a sit-in. The sit-in was basically initiated by Khan Wali Adel, a young man from Paktia who was a part of the practice and witnessed it closely. He revealed that his father had given away his sisters in Baad and recently his father wanted to take girls in Baad from another tribe in compensation for killing his brothers.  
This case shows how the practice is frequent within Afghan society and discriminates the rights of women without any notice. There are many such cases that never come to light and they show how indifferent the people are towards them. Such practices are now a part of the accepted culture and seem to be usual behavior.
It is really imperative to identify such practices as abnormal and discriminatory; otherwise, they would keep on persisting or would even strengthen. This really has to do with the overall behavior or thinking towards women. Women are not considered as human beings and they are not thought to be having some role or status within the society. They are no more than commodity and are thus treated in similar fashion. It is important to change this perspective otherwise it would be very difficult to stop such practices. The change in the way people perceive women is really vital and can help in changing the scenario.
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 that 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