Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Women’s Social and Political Role Highly Significant

Afghan men and women have been entitled equally based on the constitution approved in the post-Taliban regime. Sexual discrimination, mainly against women, has no room in national laws and both men and women should be able to exercise their rights and freedoms without barriers. They can engage in social, political, and economic spheres.
Following the downfall of the Taliban regime, Afghan women widely engaged in individual and collective activities and played their role constructively. They made great strides, supported democracy, and voiced their concern against injustice. Afghan women participated in presidential and parliamentary elections to cast their votes to support democratic principles and constitution. They also took part in peaceful protests, along with their male counterparts, to ask for justice. Women ran for presidential and parliamentary elections, engaged in business and investment, served as teachers and doctors, and played essential role in cultural aspects. They raised their voice against violation of their rights and freedoms, sexual discrimination, and violence against them.
Moreover, a number of women moved iconoclastically to break the deep-seated custom, which viewed women as inferior creature. They raised their eyebrows about unfair culture and sought to challenge discriminatory custom and tribal code of conduct to free women. Some attacked on established sets of rule that curtailed women’s freedoms.
Women also joined judicial system and served in police ranks so that they could safeguard their rights and those of men, too. They engaged in political activities in restive provinces at the cost of their lives. It is believed that Afghan women used the nascent democratic platform, which was established following the collapse of the Taliban regime, in the best way and played highly significant role since a number of women hold high political positions.
Some women also narrated their miserable life and that of their friends and compatriots through the power of their pens and lenses of their cameras. A large number of girls and women, who graduated schools and universities in the post-Taliban regime, are able to bring about changes and play more important role in the society.
Comparing Afghan girls and women to two decades back, they are now more confident, hopeful, and ambitious.
After all, Afghanistan’s Constitution supports the fundamental rights and freedoms of women more than ever before as it states in Article 22, “Any kind of discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan shall be forbidden. The citizens of Afghanistan, man and woman, have equal rights and duties before the law.”
Afghan women also paid heavy sacrifices for supporting democracy and were targeted by militant and terrorist fighters. That is, female MPs, politicians, and police were threatened, wounded, and killed by militant fighters simply for engaging in social and political activities. But they continue their activities boldly in the face of all dangers.
With peace talks at the limelight, Afghan women are concerned for being marginalized. They, therefore, have been urging the government and international community to engage women in the negotiations so that their rights and freedoms are not compromised at the table. Gaining relative achievements with the emergence of democratic discourse in the post-Taliban administration, women seek to safeguard those achievements at any cost. They never intend to backtrack even if the Taliban are reintegrated into the government. The Taliban exclusive and discriminatory ideology is not acceptable to Afghan women – this is what women have expressed so far. 
Notwithstanding their prominent role, Afghan women have still long way to go. Patriarchal system still holds a strong sway in tribal belts and challenge their social and political role. The level of girls’ participation in collective activities and the presence of girls at school in remote areas is disappointing. Meanwhile, girls’ schools are closed in the Taliban-dominated areas.
After all, scores of men, who live in tribal belts, seem unwilling to send their girls to schools or universities. This perception still rules some villages that schooling and education are misleading or at least not appropriate for girls. They prefer girls to live in purdah and do household chores rather than engaging in social and political activities.
Violence against women still persists. Some traditionalists seek to curtail the rights and freedoms of women and hamper their social and political activities despite the fact that it is against the constitution. Women have played active and constructive role in all collective spheres, but there are still many obstacles to be tackled.