Malalai Joya on Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

by matttbastard

After six years in control, this government has proved itself to be as bad as the Taliban – in fact, it is little more than a photocopy of the Taliban. The situation in Afghanistan is getting progressively worse – and not just for women, but for all Afghans.

Our country is being run by a mafia, and while it is in power there is no hope for freedom for the people of Afghanistan. How can anyone, man or woman, enjoy basic freedoms when living under the shadow of warlords? The government was not democratically elected, and it is now trying to use the country’s Islamic law as a tool with which to limit women’s rights.

In 2007 more women killed themselves in Afghanistan than ever before – that shows that the situation hasn’t got any better. The murder of women in Afghanistan is like the killing of birds, because this government is anti-women. Women are vulnerable – recently a 22-year-old woman was raped in front of her children by 15 local commanders of a fundamentalist party, closely connected to the government. The commanders then urinated in the face of the children. These things happen frequently.

Malalai Joya, My country is using Islamic law to erode the rights of women

Related: The Hidden Half: A Photo Essay on Women in Afghanistan:

The plight of women under the Taliban regime provided the United States with a tidy moral justification for its invasion of Afghanistan—a talking point that Laura Bush took the lead in driving home. “The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women,” Bush said after the 2001 invasion, adding that thanks to America, women were “no longer imprisoned in their homes.” Six years later, the burka is more common than before, an “overwhelming majority” of Afghan women suffer domestic violence, according to aid group Womankind, and honor killings are on the rise. Health care is so threadbare that every 28 minutes a mother dies in childbirth—the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Girls attend school at half the rate boys do, and in 2006 at least 40 teachers were killed by the Taliban. For two years, Canadian photojournalist Lana Šlezić crisscrossed Afghanistan—from Mazar-e-Sharif in the north to Kandahar in the south—to document these largely hidden realities.

Click here to view Šlezić’s photo essay.

Also see RAWA’s harrowing gallery of “liberated” Afghan women who have committed self-immolation (warning: extremely graphic, more from CTV News);  Ann Jones on “the nightmare of Afghan women“; WOMANKIND’s most recent report on the state of women’s rights in post-invasion Afghanistan, Taking Stock: Afghan Women and Girls Five Years On; Soutik Biswas of BBC News on “the paradox of women in Afghanistan“; and Fern Hill of Birth Pangs notes the sick irony of how Western leaders continue to exploit women (and children) as proof that NATO’s futile occupation of Afghanistan is a “noble and necessary” endeavour.

As Fern bluntly puts it, “just how the FUCK are ‘we’ helping Afghan girls and women?”

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

3 thoughts on “Malalai Joya on Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

  1. Hey! Great blog you have here, and not just because you throw an awful lot of links our way (wink)!
    This post on Joya is great! Thanks for putting it up; I didn’t even know she talked to The Independent!!


  2. Aww, shucks. I absolutely love what you guys do over at MMW. Thanks so much for the kind words.

    Yes, I was also surprised to see the Joya piece! From what I’ve read, I thought she’d been (deliberately?) laying low as of late (although she made an appearance in Toronto this past Fall–alas, I missed her speech. :-( )


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