Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Tenacious Violence against Women

Afghan society is one of the societies prominently marked with consistent violence against women. There have been efforts to discourage violence against women, mostly after the downfall of Taliban, but success has been only to a limited extend. In fact, the improvements could only be witnessed in the cities, while the rural and backward areas remained as they were. The socio-economic conditions could not alter much and the social and religious patterns in those areas have remained intact, therefore, no major breakthrough could be achieved. And, now when the international community is almost ready to leave Afghanistan, there are fears that the so-called achievements would be in danger.
There have been some very heart-wrenching incidents of violence against women in Afghanistan and unfortunately they continue. Even more unfortunate is the fact that several of such incidents are never brought to the attention of the authorities or media, it is also because of the fear of the system. Many victims fear that even if they bring the incidents to the notice of the police or media, their problems would not be solved and they would not be given justice; therefore, they choose to live with it.
An incident brought to the attention of media on Tuesday, August 23, disclosed that a man killed his wife and mother in law in western Herat province due to domestic violence. Provincial police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the perpetrator has been identified and efforts are underway for his arrest. No further details have been given regarding the main motive behind the murder of the women and her mother but Ibrahimi said the two were shot dead by the man.
Earlier a woman was brutally stabbed to death in broad day light in Pul-e-Khumri city, the provincial capital of northern Baghlan province. A 20-year-old woman also lost her life few days ago after she was brutally tortured by her husband in this province.
These are only few incidents that we come to know through media in only some parts of the country. In almost all parts of country, such incidents happen, in some way or the other and they are thought to be a part of the routine life. Nothing is weird about such incidents and nothing serious is done about them by the authorities.
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.