International Women's Day in Afghanistan

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A month before March, I was getting ready to celebrate this day that belongs to women. It is a day when everyone talks about women and their abilities. I was planning to go to Khaje Abdulah Ansari girls orphanage to talk to the angels about their rights and their bright future and tell them that they make half of their society, and this day is for me and them.

A group of teachers and students from Herat University and I were going to have a video conference with Mr.Walter Kaffenberger and a group of his colleagues from NATO. Everyone was so excited, and we were going to take this opportunity to talk about our improvements and activities, but this wasn’t the dreamy celebration for us.

First, the Supreme Court Council of Afghanistan declaration once more showed us the real situation and value of women in Afghanistan, and second, the confirmation of President Karzai had cleaned the little bits of hope for women. I have canceled the orphanage program, because I really didn’t have anything to say there. How could I promise them a bright future, while I was not sure of that? What kind of right did I want to talk about? And how could I explain that March is just a name for us?

In the video conference, the NATO group wished us a happy international women's day, but we really didn’t know what to say. I could easily feel the fear and anger in everyone’s voice.

I was totally confused and am still carrying lots of questions in my mind.
  • Why do always women need to suffer the changes?
  • Why whenever a new system changes, women should answer? In the very beginning of Islam Khadija our prophet Mohammed’s (peace be up on him) wife was a business woman and was traveling alone, Aisha and other Muslim women were fighting in wars and hundred other examples. 
  • How can they explain these for us?
  • Are we getting ready to welcome Taliban again?
The problem is that even we don’t know who we can ask these questions to. Afghan women just started to make their future by their own, but now it seems that again we need to look to others for our future.


Susan Atai


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