The defenseless women of my country -Afghanistan

Parwiz Karimi:

During the Taliban regime, the women were socially imprisoned, isolated, and were considered weak and powerless compared to men. As a result, women were given fewer rights than men and weren’t allowed to take part in any important decisions that could affect them either in the house or outside – men were the righteous spotless decision-makers of the time.

Misquotation and misunderstanding of religious scriptures allowed men to force women to cover up themselves. All the Afghan women were physically forced to wear the long dark blue Burkas.

This is still one of the most concerning issues in modern-day Afghanistan. Women are being stoned and burnt to death and forced to cover up themselves with long blue Burkas in the name of religion.

The post-Taliban regime was supposed to be democratic and fair. A new pretentious democratic president was elected. It was the tiniest shade of hope after a long period of segregation, adversity, and despair. On the other hand, it was an ignition of hopefulness for women to have more rights, be able to play their part in the society, and be considered an important factor in building the torn apart Afghanistan – unfortunately, the new governments have been following the footsteps of Taliban in a modern way.

In the recent brutal genocidal massacre of the Hazara minority that took place in MirzaOlang district of Saripul province tens of women and young girls were mercilessly murdered. Girls and young children were inhumanely beheaded and kidnapped for several days. This is when the  Afghan president ignored the warnings of the Saripul governor to back him up with more soldiers and facilities to fight the heinous and heartless terrorists –  all these could have been prevented if women were given more power in the government to ensure that the voice of women is heard.

Afghan women and their children are pictured at The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration center on the outskirts of Peshawar on June 19, 2012, as they prepare to return to their home country after fleeing civil war and Taliban rule. About 20 percent of the population in Afghanistan are refugees. Of those abroad, there are 1.7 million Afghans in Pakistan and a million in Iran. AFP PHOTO / A. MAJEED (Photo credit should read A. MAJEED/AFP/GettyImages)

What is very emotionally painful and unfortunate about the Mirza Olang massacre is that it is taking us back to the dark ages of the Taliban regime in which women had no rights. All the technological developments were considered evil. People were kept uneducated, segregated, and secluded all over Afghanistan.

In my country, a man is considered more knowledgeable and wise than a woman. But the bravery and hard work of the Afghan women has proved the patriarchal men wrong. Women are breaking boundaries every day. But the Afghan women need moral support to fight for their rights to be treated the same as men.

A fundamentally strong pragmatic change is required within the roots of the Afghan Society to empower women and appreciate the importance of women’s role within society for the betterment and development of Afghanistan towards the right direction, a state of the mind and visionary change to see the world in a different constructive way. A state-of-the-art Afghanistan without the contribution of the women sounds as impossible as a breathing stone –I dare to dream of a better, more understanding, and noble Afghanistan.

Parwiz Karimi is the founder of the Afghan Youth Association and a student at the University of Leeds studying Chemical And Energy Engineering. His hobbies include writing and painting.

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