Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Women situation in Afghanistan (Not Very Nice)

In the last 25 years:

Patterns of violence against women in conflict do not arise 'naturally' but are ordered, condoned or tolerated as a result of political calculations.

The status of women in Afghanistan has been used by armed groups as a political tool in their struggles to secure and maintain power. Most armed groups have imposed restrictions on women in the name of religion and culture as a means of consolidating their own position and legitimacy. Notions of honour and shame underpinning cultural norms and practices emphasise female modesty and purity. During the last two decades, but particularly between 1992 and 1995, armed guards have used these norms as weapons of war. At the same time, acts of violence perpetrated against women - public beatings, and sexual assault - appear to have been used as instruments of intimidation, humiliation and coercion, of women and the wider population. The repression of women symbolises not only their vulnerability, but also the powerlessness of their male relatives to protect them. If the aims of peace and development are ever to be realised in Afghanistan, then women's fundamental human rights must be respected. It is now recognised the world over that progress, social justice, the eradication of poverty, sustained economic growth, and social development all critically depend on the full participation of women on the basis of equality in all spheres of society.

Invoking religion and Afghan culture, most armed groups have made pronouncements about appropriate behaviour for women, imposing restrictions on their freedom of movement and access to employment and education in areas they controlled. Women have been publicly harassed, intimidated and beaten for carrying out activities deemed by armed guards to be 'un-Islamic'. Most consistent and stringent in their enforcement of restrictions on women is the Taleban.

Current Situation:

it's quite interesting to see that women rights have been used by americans as justification for military intervention in Afghanistan. on the ground the situation changes very little in favor of women ... in Afghanistan we have seen some urban improvement.

Warlords are occupying parts of the territory and see women as commodities for trading, to settle land dispute. Abductions and forced marriages are about as bad, if not worse, than at any time in Afghan history.

Warlords are not being pulled out, they're not being prosecuted, they're not being investigated for the crimes that are openly committing. expereince from other post-conflict / violence countries shows that human rights violation will prolong if some of the people who were involved in the violation hasn't been courted.

amnesty international urged the International Criminal Court to "pick up and prosecute one or two high-profile cases because that will send the message that violence against women cannot continue in such an impunity, which is the norm today."

Even where women are not deliberately targetted, they are the main victims of so-called collatoral damage, whether caused by "precision" bombing or landmines, the report said.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

wrote to BBC

I was born when the soviets had already spent a year in Afghanistan. The only image which I clearly remember from soviets is when I was six.
On my way to school in a very bitter winter day with snow up to my knees and blizzard blowing to my face. I saw a Soviet soldier standing in the middle of the main Karti-Parwan road.
He was standing on this slope road, rapped in thick warm woolen military uniform. He had big wind glasses on through which I couldn’t see his eyes. He was pointing a very big gun toward pedestrians and traffic; everyone was passing by with extreme caution.

The next day I didn’t take the main road to school; my grandmother advised me to avoid bumping into Roosah (Soviets). She told me they are barbarians and tyrant and they are here to kill good Muslims. She was telling me stories of how they entered Afghanistan through air and ground; it was a very noisy night. The roaring of Tanks entering Kabul and big planes landing in Kabul airport made people sleepless. She was saying the city was ordered to put black curtains on all windows so no light could be seen.

Few months later a unit of Tajik soldiers delivered some gifts and letters from children of communist countries to my school. A Tajik soldier gave me a toy and talk to me about life, home, family and children. He was full of love, feelings, humanity and affectation. When talking to him I totally forgot that their red army killed a million of my brothers and sisters and our warriors with bare hands killed tens of thousands of them. I found qualities and feelings in him that mattered to me; the massacre the invasion and the resistance was neither his nor mine fault, we were just specks stuck in the middle of a big horror and crime.
The entire war was part of a big thing, organized by systems and cleverer people than both of us setting in huge red and white castles.

I hope history doesn’t repeat it self, today I meet wonderful Americans who I could understand and are here definitely with good faith and mean to help. These people are too good to do any harm. But what about the system and administration, sadly the system and administration is always stupid and irrational.

The photo attached is the cover of a USAID publication and it says in bold letters “Building Afghan Democracy”, the editor forgets the first thing about democracy which is you can’t impose democracy on people, democracy is a process, not an answer or outcome. It has taken several hundred years in the US and other democratic nations to emerge under each nation’s VERY UNIQUE SITUATION.
I wonder how it (Bush Administration) could help if they have such a predetermined opinion and position.

Afghanistan wouldn’t be able to make it without their help and presence, but the administration should stop controlling Afghans and telling them what is good for them. The sooner the Afghans are able to run things the better it is for both sides.

I don’t know if it’s something wrong with Afghans or something wrong with the armies or maybe it’s the hospitality, for thousand of years when they arrive in the land of Faghan they tend to control things and they don’t learn from each other. They don’t learn people here hate to be pushed; other armies prior to them tried to control them, but they even couldn’t make it out of this place in each corner of this country you could see grave yards of invaders.

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Abasin just stepped into my office very upset and frustrated, he said the police in a chinese restaurant question him for 10 minutes, because he had lunch there.
Afghans are not allowed to go there.
He was almost arrested yesterday by the police because he was dropping a girl colleague home. Apparently, the cab-driver freaked out when he saw a boy and a girl chitchatting in a very un-triditional way and he wanted to report to police.

Last year he was in police costudy for a couple of hours because he went out camping at midnight, in the winter, in 30cm of snow, with a bunch of friends.
made a big fire and all those stuff… and had a lot of fun, the chief of police could understand the concept and was angry why young chaps showed that much freedom.

It's Abasin and people like him who are pushing the envelope and are trying to make a difference…. He is the man who will ensure the freedom of others.