The World Remains Silent in the Face of Afghan Women’s Suffering
By: Farhat Rahman
It has been nearly two years since the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan. Despite the assertions of their leaders in various conferences in 2020, this organization has not altered; their performance, ideology, and conduct remain the same as before.
Since August 2021, the people of Afghanistan have been facing difficult times. Their well-being has been compromised by a weak economy, poverty, and unemployment. Additionally, women/girls, journalists, civil activists, professors, and civilians have been laid off, living in poor conditions. In some cases, individuals have been forced to sell their children and body organs in order to survive.
It has been more than 500 days since women have been denied their basic human rights, such as the right to education, work, and freedom of speech. Schools and universities have been closed to girls, and women have been removed from their positions. However, some courageous Afghan women have taken a stand against this injustice, demonstrating and speaking out for those who have been subjected to the Taliban’s restrictions. The Taliban have consistently suppressed women’s demonstrations and imprisoned protesters, despite the fact that education, work, and peaceful demonstrations are the civil rights of every citizen.
Throughout the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan, they have consistently infringed upon human rights. The most egregious offenses committed by this group during their initial period of governance and continuing to the present day are the violation of the right to freedom of speech, liberty, education, work, security, and human dignity. Surprisingly, the international community and the United Nations have remained silent, not uttering a single word about these atrocities or the current crisis. It appears as if they have forgotten about the existence of a place called Afghanistan.
Women’s Place in Society
It is undeniable that women make up half of society and have an important role to play in community and politics. Women should be actively involved in social and political strata in order for society to survive. The exclusion of women from the social, economic, and political life in Afghanistan’s history has had a significant impact on the development of the country, due to cultural, social, and political myths and ideologies of the Afghan community and the war history within the country. This issue has become so severe that some people consider women to be the second sex. The Taliban and their discriminatory laws against women have exacerbated this problem, and have had a detrimental effect on the economic, social, political, cultural, and educational development of the country.
Women’s Role in Economics
The exclusion of women from society is one of the most significant economic obstacles. As a form of human capital, women must be included in various sectors of all societies in order to promote economic development. Their involvement in the economic sector, including production, agriculture, trade, and other industries, can help to increase production and reduce poverty, thus making societies more self-sufficient.
Women‘s Place in Culture
Culture is the dominant ethos, convictions, values, and practices of the social groups of societies. It has an immediate influence on the conduct and decisions of its constituents. Consequently, women‘s involvement in cultural and artistic activities contributes to the values, customs, and constructive behaviors and passes on cultural values to future generations.
Women‘s Political Participation and Representation
Throughout history, women who had greater self–confidence and faith in their capabilities have been able to fulfill their responsibilities at various levels, despite the numerous restrictions they had to overcome. In our modern history, we have seen women who have worked as ministers, governors, mayors, members of parliament, teachers, administrators, and soldiers, demonstrating that they can work alongside men and bring immense value to the decision–making process. Their involvement in politics can benefit the government and foster democracy as well as human rights. Consequently, the exclusion of women from politics presents significant difficulties in governance.
Women‘s Role in Education
Women provide societies with a potential generation of human capital that helps them achieve endurance, independence, and high human values. The role of women in both home–based and official education systems of the country is essential for economic, social, and cultural development and progress. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan, the role of women in education is undervalued, leading to its elimination and creating significant challenges for the country‘s system.
The general exclusion of women from participating in societies is typically a result of gender discrimination, violence, and social customs. This has severe repercussions and diminishes the potential of human forces in economic, political, and social areas. Consequently, it will have a negative impact on the sustainable development of the nation. Furthermore, the lack of female involvement decreases production, which leads to poverty and unemployment. As a result, women are essential as human forces and should be actively engaged in all social, economic, cultural, and political activities to contribute to the sustainable development and advancement of society.
In conclusion, it is a fundamental right of every human being to have freedom and this should not be overlooked. The international community and the United Nations should not forget about Afghanistan and must take steps to improve the situation expeditiously.