Women in Afghanistan are subject to many forms of violence and prejudice. In this country in which women’s rights are given Constitutional recognition and protection, those rights get little recognition and protection in day-to-day life. Over the last 11 years there have been some improvements in conditions for women, there is still a very long way to go before they can say their rights are given protection equal to that afforded the rights of Afghan men.
Without doubt, one of the fundamental traits of progressive societies is recognition and protection of human sanctity and human rights as set out in international human rights codes and in certain religions, such as Islam. Unfortunately I have to confess that human rights in general and women’s rights in particular, have reversed systematically in all societies; but especially in traditional Afghanistan society.
As a result of the recognition, in Afghanistan’s new Constitution, of women’s equality with men, new organizations have sprung up that advocate for women’s rights. As well, the Government of Afghanistan has created a new Ministry of Women's Affairs.
There are five fundamental elements of women and men’s inequality in Afghan society. These are: a sexual element, a cultural element, a religious element, an economic element, a social element, and a historical element.
1. Sexual element
This is the physical unbalance of men and women. The physical and mental dominance of men over women has long been institutionalized and imposed on personal, family, and social life through the use of violence.
If we consider culture as beliefs, traditions, public and personal methods of life, literature, art, language and all virtual human outputs, in all sections we see inequality of women and men. General absence of study and education, absence of increasing knowledge is the base of underneath social level and base of unscientific understanding of rights and social relationships. The existing culture of social relationship is one of elements which cased inequality of women in society.
3. Religious Element
Incorrect interpretations from religion have caused the equality for women; which is mentioned in Islam has been disregarded in Islamic society of Afghanistan. In other words, the truth and real statement of Islam isn’t truly used in traditional Islamic society of Afghanistan. Because of this, in traditional Islam there is no equality for women in society. In the version of
Islam that is taught, there is a bias against women.
4. Economic Element
Whatsoever a society is backward in economical section; so that much men’s dominance in efficiency and livelihood will increase. Economical monopoly and life and livelihood monopoly will be completely on men’s hand; which is one of the most important elements of women’s proscription.
5. Historical Element
Traditions and rules of social life will form in long process of life and social activities. Effects of corporeal and spiritual elements in forming traditions and prevalence, social and tribal Ceremonies is something imperative.
Islam religion has considered a high position for women, and has mentioned that women and men have equal rights. Unfortunately, this has not been considered in the Islam of Afghanistan. In the last 100 years, Afghan women have lived in a pitiable condition due to denial of their human rights.
The Afghanistan Ministry of Women's Affairs was created in 2001 as a means for the government of Afghanistan to work with Afghan women in the implementation and administration of their Constitutional rights. In 2009, the Government of Afghanistan also approved the Violence Against Women Act. Since the downfall of the Taliban in 2001, many new schools have been established. Today over 4 million students are girls. Women now work in all professions – as police, teachers, doctors, engineers, merchants, lawyers, ministers, social workers, supervisors, artists, nurses, managers, actresses, shopkeepers, pharmacists – and the strength of their presence in all professions is increasing day by day.
However in latest decade women have really improved in diplomacy, cultural and social sections, but they are still dealing with insecurity, unemployment, poverty, not going of girls to schools, and some other problems. We are all looking forward for better situation Afghan women.