Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Deep-Seated Gender Discrimination

Why does luck treat so many of us unfairly? Take a hypothetical case about which we have a reasonable good idea. Here is our typical woman: She labors from dawn to dusk in the kitchen but all she gets in return is foul languages, angry words, frowns, pinches, punches and kicks from her spouse, father-in-law and mother-in-law.
She toils sincerely, yet is treated as a highly hated pariah. Her tear is construed as crocodile tears, her sincerity is interpreted as trickery, her gloomy face is scorned and her forced smile is discouraged by the frowns of her family members.
What a painful life!
Is such bad luck really something inborn? If not, why is life so dark for her from the birth to the death? Why is her whole existence a tearful woe? Why are her feelings hurt and her life saddened? Why are there no sympathizers in society on whose shoulders she can weep? Why is she so deep in domestic difficulties? Why…?
When she is born, why does the father show displeasure? Why Abdul does threaten his wife with death for giving birth to second female child? Why is she expected to die while in labor, rather than bringing another girl-child into this unwelcoming world? Why…?
Why is she treated inferior to man in our culture? As an individual she is born with rights and has her own intrinsic value.
Why is she rebuffed when she claims her rights? Why is it dignified for her to enter her husband’s home dressed in a white wedding gown; and supposed to go out when she is dead and clothed in a white-shroud? Why is she expected to silently endure all tortures and pains?
Why a fourteen-year-old girl is forced to live with a forty-year-old man under the same roof for the whole life? Why the respect of her sisterhood and motherhood is easily broken? Why is she sacrificed for the fault of her brother, father or husband? Why?
It is shocking news that Afghan women suffer from gruesome violence.
Her nose is cut, her head is banged on walls and she is dishonored, tortured, suffocated or shot to dead. Do you know what their faults are? It is because they are women and their gender is different from men. Are we to interpret their physical weakness as a big fault! Let me tell you the story of their lives in our democratic country.
Sensitive minds should be traumatized by such facts. I do remember few years back when she was lying on the bed of hospital unable to talk because she was sustaining serious injuries.
Her mother was sitting beside her bed describing her story with emotional pain.
She said that her daughter, Shakila, who was married to her cousin, was shot by the man she married.
She added that Shakila was forced to marry her cousin.
Her mother talked about the cruelties and mistreatment showered on daughter by the mother-in-law and husband. Finally, Shakila’s mother burst into tears. Shakila was shivering with unbearable pain and sobbing uncontrollably.
Half of her face and her left side were bandaged. The headline of the report said that Shakila has lost half of her face due to the gun-shot wounds.
For all human beings this is a distressing story. I understood from the background of the story that it was a revenge-act taken to balance family tension going on between the two families.
It is an unacceptable fact in our society, particularly in rural areas, that girls become targets of revenge for the feuds of their families.
There was a miserable story of a rape victim in Daikundi province few years back. Sara, a teenage school girl who was living in Korga village, always had to pass by her neighbors’ houses on her way to school. One morning, on her way to school, she was waylaid and raped by an eighty-year-old man of her neighborhood.
He did this to avenge his wife’s rape many years ago by the father of the same girl, Sara. Even though, her father had already been trialed and imprisoned for a long period, for his crime, the old man still kept his animosity.
Why should the innocent daughter be hold accountable for the fault of her father?
These are only a drop in the ocean of violence and mistreatment in Afghan society.
This scenario is waiting for many other unlucky girls of our country if the government ignores the cases or if corruption continues within the judicial system.
Gender discrimination is a chronic problem in Afghanistan and cultural taboos and traditions contribute to this discrimination against women.
The government has to deal with such cases seriously.