I’m really getting tired of seeing pictures and news reports of abused women in Afghanistan. It is even more disappointing given that the West has over 40,000 troops on the ground in the country. I thought all of this was supposed to stop when we engineered the overthrow of the Taliban? The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), the leading Afghan women’s rights group, issued this http://www.rawa.org/events/march8-07_e.htm press release on March 8, 2007 in recognition of International Women’s Day from which I have excerpted the following:
The world came into motion in the name of "liberating Afghan woman" and our country was invaded, but the sorrows and deprivations of Afghan women has not just failed to reduce, but actually increased the level of oppression and brutality day by day on this most ruined population of our society.
Women's Rights is Human Rights The corrupt and mafia government of Mr. Karzai and its international guardians, are playing shamelessly with the intolerable suffering of Afghan women and misuse it as their propaganda tool for deceiving the people of the world. They have placed some women into official posts in the government who are favored by the warlords and then proclaim it as symbol of "women's liberation" in the country. But the presence of a number of women in high posts is not important unless they touch the depth of our people's adversities and sufferings, like the parliamentarian Malalai Joya, and uncompromisingly struggle against the bloody enemies of woman's rights and democracy and consider women's emancipation as an integral part of the liberation of our whole country from the filthy shackles of the fundamentalists and their foreign masters.
In reality the heart-rendering pain and cry of Saimas, Rahimas, Gul Shahs, Sanoobers, Gul Bibis, Aminas and hundreds of awful stories of suicide and self-immolations as a result of injustice and disappointment in every corner of the county, is an stigma on the face of the institutions and all of those who, out of their political interests, try to paint a brilliant picture of the women's rights situation in Afghanistan.
CNN is apparently getting ready to debut a piece by Christiane Amanpour on the continuing plight of Afghanistan’s women that is scheduled to be aired this Friday, December 7th. The preview photos and video I have seen on this piece and on RAWA’s website http://www.rawa.org are horrific.
We have to look at all of this a little differently. Women are being denied their basic human rights in the Afghanistan. They are being singled out for their gender. They are being tortured, denied opportunities to earn a living, and executed for what most of the civilized world would recognize as minor offenses or non criminal moral lapses. Imagine how we would view this if a country were doing this to a group of a particular religion or race or ethnic origin? We have to look at Afghanistan’s treatment of women the same way. The only difference is we have a higher responsibility to act in Afghanistan given the troops we have in country and the fact that the government in power is one that we installed.The Solution
The situation requires a special and radical solution. We have to get the people that are the object and victims of the discriminatory and genocidal policies out of the country and area, assuming they want to leave. NATO countries should agree to grant all of Afghanistan’s women asylum. NATO troops should go from city to city, announce the asylum program and take any women away who want to leave right then and there. They should be immediately taken to and housed on NATO bases under the protection of NATO forces until they can be airlifted out. NATO military transport planes and civilian aircraft should be contracted to fly them out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible.No one has to tell me that this policy would create a political firestorm and harm our relations with many of the nations in the region. I don’t care. The men of Afghanistan and any other country that treat women this way don’t deserve to have any women around. Any country that discriminates against any class, race, gender, religion, etc. of people has lost the privilege of having those people as citizens and deserves to have that group flown out and given asylum in a country that does not discriminate against them. The difference here is that we have the troops on the ground to do it. We should start this process immediately and to hell with the consequences. Maybe this will send a message that the world is serious about stopping mistreatment of women and other vulnerable groups and this will influence other countries to stop the discrimination and abuse.