Afghanistan has been struggling to have a transition into a developed and modern society by throwing away the medieval signs. These medieval manifestations are rooted in negative traditions that have existed since long and mistaken interpretation of Islamic teachings. These traditions and lines of interpretations have had their negative impacts on the society and families and individuals.
Since Taliban are a mixture of tribal culture, religious extremism and ignorance, the society and people were in deeper suffering during their regime in late 1990s. Women bore the brunt of the suffering the emanated from the Taliban's line of understanding and interpretation.
After the Taliban militants were driven out of power in late 2001, there was a wave of liberalization in the country, which is more in sync with the true essence of Islam and Afghans' desire to live with Islam as well as rationality, a major component stressed in our faith.
Women began to breathe openly and freely and come to exercise their political, social, cultural and economic rights to contribute to rebuilding the country. In fact, there is a more human society in place now. There is education for Afghans, both male and female.
But there are still injustices and discriminations against women that have to be addressed. In fact, the country should move forward and build on the gains achieved so far. But there are new concerns on the preservation of the gains as Afghan government is attempting to bring the conflict to an end after a decade of war and fighting and international forces have begun to pull out of the country.
Oxfam, an International Aid Agency, has mentioned that quick-fix bargain for peace could reverse improvements for Afghan women's rights gained over the last decade. In its report, Oxfam has said that there is an already downward slide in the advances of women and they will have a dangerous future if they remain marginalized in the peace process.
Orzala Ashraf Nemat, the co-author of the report, has said, "Recent history has been harsh to Afghan women – and we don't want to see it repeated. We have made incredible gains in the last 10 years. Women are working as doctors, lawyers and businesswomen. "But what is life going to be like for us in the next 10 years? Already life is getting tougher for Afghan women.
Afghan women want peace – not a stitch-up deal that will confine us to our homes again. We are a voice that must be heard." It is to be said that it is the demand of the new generations in the country as well. They want the gains to be built upon and not lost or reversed. Afghan women should be able to continue to live their new life and they do not want to return to life they had during the Taliban.