Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Atrocities against Women Keep on Multiplying

The discrimination, atrocities and violence against women still continue in Afghanistan and unfortunately only few of such cases are highlighted. On many occasions such cases are never brought to the attention of the people as they do not get the chance of being disseminated through media. Most of the people in Afghan society never consider it a crime or a non-ethical act if women are beaten, or treated as inferior. There are only few who care and they, also, are not in the position to take practical measures to stop such atrocities.
The cases that are highlighted through media also do not get the guarantee of being pursued with honest intentions. Such cases become the headlines in the newspapers and news channels only to depict that Afghan society believes in giving proper coverage to the issues of women. After few days, they are again forgotten. In some cases, there may be promises by the government authorities that action would be taken against the culprits but those promises mostly remain empty promises. In rare cases even if the issue is pursued and brought to justice, the influential men stand above the law. They turn the justice in their favor through wealth, influence and even misuse of power. Therefore, such incidents keep on happening and would continue unless there are true intentions to stop them.
Few such incidents were highlighted by media recently - on Friday, a 22-year-old woman, Gul Jan, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Pashtunkot district of Faryab province for having alleged relations with a man over the telephone. Provincial police spokesman Abdul Karim Yurish confirmed that the woman was married and the incident took place as her husband is in Iran for work.
On Wednesday this week, a woman in Takhar province lost her unborn baby after her husband tortured her and mutilated her genitals.
Earlier a woman was shot dead by her relatives as she was trying to elope with a man in western Ghor province of Afghanistan. The woman was identified as Aziz Gul and was shot dead in Ahangaran area of Ghor in mid-June this year. A teenage girl was also burnt alive by her brother’s wife in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan earlier last month, while three sisters were shot dead, allegedly by the militants in Logar province.
There is a clear rise in incidents of violence against women. This is directly linked to the overall security situation. As the security situation in the country has deteriorated the weaker strata seem to be in trouble the most. There were no serious attention to their woes and now with rising insecurity, the authorities have more excuses for less attention to the issues of women. Women and many intellectuals believe that even if the security situation improves there will be serious challenges for women to earn a reputable position within Afghan society. Even if there is a peace deal with Taliban, there are fears that Afghan government may sacrifice some of the achievements that are made regarding the heightened role and position of women. Taliban have never been in favor of active role of women in social and political lives and one of their conditions for peace talks would be limiting their role as much as possible. Keeping the Afghan society in mind, the authorities may accept such a condition.   
Afghan social structure has been fervently dominated by religious extremism and tribal partiality. Most of the self-designed religious doctrines and tribal norms are against the women and discriminate their basic rights. Regrettably, these norms and principles have even gone to the extent of aggression and have tortured women physically – even in the public. They, in the name of dignity of women, have in reality dishonored them. Though they have been raising their voices every now and then but in the noise of male shrieks they seem to be negligible and get faded away. In fact, the male-chauvinistic ears are not ready to hear them though they feel their vibrations clearly. Nonetheless, the efforts in this regard must never be given up and they should continue in every possible way.
With such a situation existing around, it is really difficult to see development in condition of women who have been undergoing discriminations since ages. Afghan authorities and all the Afghan people, both women and men, must strive to change the scenario as it would help the society as a whole as women are an essential part of it.
We need to accept that women form an integral part of society and have an imperative role to play. Their representation and participation in different walks of life can help society develop suitably. They cannot be kept on being discriminated and violated without letting up, because it is not only non-religious but at the same time atrocious because above all women are human beings. Unfortunately, this evident fact has not been realized by many in Afghan society.