Context and Evidence
In the last century, the Taliban used to rule Afghanistan, and his reign is associated with the reconstruction of traditional roles with families. During that period, women were not allowed to work outside their homes and receive appropriate education (Follain 21). Women could not choose clothes they like and were forced to wear the burqa (Follain 20). These days, although the reign of the Taliban has come to an end, and women are formally allowed to use all the opportunities of the modern world, their human rights are commonly violated (Egeland para. 3). According to “Afghanistan: No Country for Women | 101 East”, a family is the major source of fear for Afghan women (Al Jazeera English 0:22). In this film, it is stated that “a shocking majority of Afghan women are abused. They are beaten, raped or even coerced into marriage by the people they love the most” (Al Jazeera English 0:27). In case women are willing to protect their human rights, they are violently punished in response (Al Jazeera English 0:44). Therefore, today, the problem of women’s human rights violations appears to be extremely pressing in this region.
Summary of Efforts
A significant number of efforts have been done to address the issue of women’s human right violation in Afghanistan. As for the local population, some women attempted to resist the current regime and unite in entire communities. However, in these circumstances, their activity is not as fruitful as expected due to massive punishments. Foreign countries have become interested in the solution of this problem as well. Reports attempted to draw the attention of the broad public to the problems in this region by presenting articles in this regard. “Global Human Rights” mentions that female journalists were killed in the Kabul area over the years (4).
Moreover, foreign countries establish organizations, aim to help women in Afghan in different ways. For instance, the Norwegian Refugee Council states that Afghan women are not aware of their human rights properly (Egeland para. 9). They attempt to educate them in this regard so that they are capable of protecting themselves correctly (Egeland para. 9). Feminist communities are also interested in the solution of this pressing concern, and they provide adequate help and draw the attention of the broad public to this problem (Feminist Majority Foundation para.1).
The actions in relation to Afghan women may be considered a violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and basic human rights. The attitude to Afghan women does not match the Articles 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which manifests freedom and equality in dignity and rights (Global Human Rights 2). In Afghan women encounter ordeals while attempting to enter educational institutions or employ (Egeland para. 3). In addition, it is a common sight when they are fostered to marry at an early age, which contradicts Article 16 in the Declaration (Global Human Rights 2). As it has been mentioned above, physical abuse in relation to women is widespread in Afghan families. Such behavior violates the human right against cruelty, which is written in Article 4 (Global Human Rights 2). Thus, it may be concluded that Afghan women encounter serious human rights violations, which significantly affect their living conditions.
Moreover, violence against women is prohibited by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Discrimination is identified in the following way:
“…any distinction, exclusion or restriction made based on sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field” (Un Women para. 2). Therefore, the fact that women’s human rights are not respected may be proved by two official documents.
The most correct and desirable outcome implies the adherence to human rights in Afghan on the governmental level. Women should receive the opportunity to protect their rights, and their claims in this regard should not be prohibited. To achieve this aim, foreign countries should not stay indifferent to this situation, and formal organizations, which specialize in this field, should pay attention to this pressing concern.
“Afghan Women and Girls”. Feminist Majority Foundation. n.d. Web.
“Afghanistan: No Country for Women | 101 East.” YouTube, uploaded by Al Jazeera English, 2015. WEb.
Egeland, Jan. “Our Unkept Promise to Afghan Women.” Aljazeera, 2014. Web.
“Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.” Un Women. n.d. Web.
“Global Human Rights.” n.d. Web.
Follain, John. “Zoya’s Story: An Afghan Woman’s Struggle for Freedom”. William Morrow, 2002.