Status of women in AFG

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Status of women in Afghanistan It was a very humid day in the summer and I was sleeping on my bed when suddenly I heard the bell of the door. I went to open the door and I saw an unpleasant and horrible scene. A woman holding her 3 year old child without any shoes on his feet that was standing at the door. The child was crying because of hunger and the hot weather. His mother was not able to feed her child for almost two days. The women asked for a piece of bread to feed her child. I asked her to come inside and I gave her some food to eat. When she ate the food I asked her the reason for her begging. She started crying and told me the reason. Her name was Fatima, her husband had died two years ago and because she was uneducated and unable to work, she was not able to feed her family and she was forced to beg. Fatima is only one example of thousands of women in Afghanistan who are uneducated and suffering from the worst situation of living. Afghanistan is a country that suffered three decades of war and those conflicts left terrific destruction on the people and the educational system of Afghanistan. Women were the primary sacrifice of those conflicts. They faced many obstacles and were deprived from their basic rights like the right to get education, the right to have equal job opportunities and above all the right to choose their life partner. One of the worst problems among Afghan women is the lack of Education; statistics shows that ( ) percent of Afghan women are uneducated. The reason that Afghan women are uneducated is mostly because of long lasting war and wrong traditions. Some religious fundamentalists believe that women are just responsible for households; they believed that woman is only to give birth to their children and stay home to serve their husbands and kids. But according to “The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, (RAWA) that is cited in holy Quran “women are the primary educators of their children; hence to educate one woman is to educate an entire family”. (Giorgi, 2009, p. 4). A good example of this can be seen in most southern parts of Afghanistan that women are not allowed to go to school, Majority of those families invest a huge amount of money on their boys’ education while they do not let their daughters even go to public school which is free and without any cost. This is how women are discriminated by their families and their society. Moreover, the other reason that made Afghan women be away from education is the lack of security in the country. During the Taliban regime girls were prohibited from school, the doors of schools were locked for girls. And those girls who were trying to get education were punished by Taliban. Still, in current regime lack of security caused and made many families to prevent their girls from going to school, and the reason was that many school girls were attacked and tortured on the way to school by Taliban. The research which was done by higher commissioner of human rights shows that, Female student and teachers have been attacked several times in 2010 by dousing poison on their face or by shooting them directly, statistics shows that 15 girls and teachers were attacked by throwing poison in Kandahar and 2 schoolgirls were shot to dead in Logar province during 2007 to 2008 (Refworld, 2011). The abovementioned reasons result to increasing number of uneducated women in Afghanistan. Lack of education can bring up several negative points in women life. For instance, most family disputes arise because of the lack of education. Women are not educated and they do not know what is good or bad for them, therefore they take wrong decisions which end up with bad consequences. Most women assume that by committing suicide they will die and everything will be finished but what if they do not die or become disable or deformed? A family that had already problems with the healthy women will they accept a disable women as their family member? “The advisor of the president of Afghanistan in health matters estimates that each year 2300 Afghan women and girls, aged between 15 to 40 years who suffer from depression, commit suicide.” (BBC Persian (Translated by RAWA), July 31, 2010). This is because of the lack of education that women become depressed and take wrong decisions like committing suicide without knowing about the consequences. Another thing that women are deprived from is having equal job opportunity as men. Women want to work like men and take part in the family income and help the economy of the country. Women have always been accorded subordinate status and they have faced gender discrimination among the society. Their rights were always been eroded and they have been unable to perform jobs among the society, sometime because of the war and sometimes because the government could not provide jobs for them (Ayubi, 2009). It is very tough for women to find jobs and even if they are lucky to find one, they are not paid as much as men for the same position. In most families when the husband dies, children are forced to go and work in order to make some money and this in turn ruins the child’s future. Another important thing women have always been deprived from was the right to choose their life partner. Women don’t want to marry someone they have never seen and have never had the chance to talk and share ideas with. Women in Afghanistan have always been married by arrange marriages which in some cases was successful but in most cases caused a lot of difficulties for both partners. These arranged marriages sometimes ended up with the women to commit suicide to release herself from difficulties caused by her husband and her in laws. A recent irritant example of such kind of marriage is the Sahar Gul’s case which happened a few months ago in Baghlan province. Sahar Gul was tortured by her husband and her in-laws to acquiesce to prostitution but she didn’t comply with their request. They locked her up in a dark room for seven months and her mother in law pulled out her nails and her hair as she expressed to the media. First of all, government should provide security in all over the country which is one of the reasons that women are uneducated. “The United Nations has indicated that the current volatile situation is “undermining confidence in the future and denying access of the Government and international aid organizations to a growing number of districts”. (Morgan, 2008) If there would be a safe environment everyone could go to school especially there would be more chances for women to complete their education. Government can provide security by talking to elder people or war lords of each district or by making them aware of benefits of having educated women in their society. For example, Taliban in Kandahar allowed girls to go to school under an Islamic law such as wearing Hijab, going in a separate school from boys which proved to be feasible. (Refworld, 2011) It was happened because of the conversation which happened between Taliban and Afghan government and it was very effective. Many parents allowed their girls to start school and lots of school were reopened. Also, government should reconcile police station or army bases in insecure areas of the country to make people feel secure and allow their girls to study. Most people are frightened to send their daughter to schools because of the security of the school. There should be guards for taking security of the girl’s schools. Second, the government should publish a restrict law to people to send their girls to school; it should make education compulsory for everyone. The law should include that everyone without regarding to gender should be educated or at least pass high school. If someone denies sending their daughter to school, they should be punished or should be taken to the court as a criminal. For women who are elder and cannot go to school, there should be training centers that at least make them educated about their daily lives, such as, behavior with others, solving or preventing family disputes among their families, the disadvantages of family arguments or other important issues. There are some centers funded by NGOs working in this area to promote and educate women in rural areas who are eroded from education. For example, Another option for the betterment for women status in Afghanistan is providing jobs for them. There should be more facilities for women to work. There should be an even distribution of job positions for both men and women both in government and NGO’s. In the cabinet of Afghanistan except the ministry of women that is being run by a woman, all other posts are handled by men. Government or other private sectors should provide more opportunities that women could prove themselves to the society as a particular group that the country is incomplete without them. Moreover, there should be more associations for protecting women’s right in the country. The only association we have is the Ministry of Women in Afghanistan which is trying to grant help for women but since it is the only office for women’s rights, it cannot undertake all problems. Women should come together and make organizations for their right. during 1977 there was an association by the name of “The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, (RAWA)” it was started by a law student called Meena. Its goal was to broad educational opportunities for women and advancing women rights in the country. This association was also in the opposition to those people who curb women rights and prevent them from participating in social and economic advancement. (Giorgi, 2009, pp. 3 - 4). This association had very influences on the people and it also brought many advantages to women. If there would be like this association as we had RAWA in the past, there could be more advancement in the condition of women in our country. Write a solution for womens marriage

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