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Rights of Women in Afghanistan

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There is a quotation which says rights are snatched not given this proverb suits the 3rd world countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and so many more. One of the main crises which Afghanistan has been facing is neglecting the true value and worth of a woman. This stratum of our community has always been underestimated and mistreated. It is a bitter truth that in this democratic and civilized era our women are deprived from their early and basic rights and in this column we are going to discuss the basic and fundamental rights of a woman in a society and women in the history of Afghanistan. Before doing that I would have a short glimpse over the phrase “right” is an abstract sense, justice ethical correctness, or harmony with the rules of law or the principles of morals In a concrete legal sense, a power, privilege, demand, or claim possessed by a particular person by virtue of law.

Each legal right that an individual possesses relates to a corresponding legal duty imposed on another. For example, when a person owns a home and property, he has the right to possess and enjoy it free from the interference of others, who are under a corresponding duty not to interfere with the owner’s rights by trespassing on the property or breaking into the home.

In the constitutional law, rights are classified as natural, civil, and political. Natural rights are those that are believed to grow out of the nature of the individual human being and depend on her personality, such as the rights to life, liberty, privacy, and the pursuit of happiness

Civil rights are those that belong to every citizen of the country, and are not concern with the organization or administration of government. They include the rights of property, marriage, protection by law, freedom to contract, trial by jury, and the like. These rights are capable of being enforced or redressed in a civil action in a court.

Political rights entail the power to participate directly or indirectly in the establishment or administration of government, such as the right of citizenship, the right to vote, and the right to hold public office. The definition which is written above is the fundamental needs of a person in the society no matter the concerned person relates to any status, society or country an independent and free person in the society must be privileged by their basic rights. The other phase of our column relates to ‘the women in the history of Afghanistan’ although it is difficult to sketch a real image of women in Afghan society where every privilege is portioned for the upper sex “man”  the history of the area is fully documented and designed  by the men. If we compare the past with the present women in the present in Afghan society is much more backward than they were in the past and yet that era is much more condemned. Being in touch with past, however offers us a complete picture of the position of a woman. It defects how century by century men have devised the customs and have intentionally enhanced their own position and stance in all the cultural institutions and in the economy which again had been in the hands of the men.

Regardless of the present situation women in the 17th century where Afghanistan was known as “Khurasan” had special importance and value they could occupy the government and could rule a whole society. Women’s rights in Afghanistan have suffered through tremendous turmoil in the last three decades or in the last quarter of the past century. Through different rulers like Mujahedeen and Taliban in the later part of the century, women have struggled to gain freedoms and reform a society that is primarily male dominant. Even today, violence against women in Afghanistan is high although the situation is improving slowly as the country progresses with the help of the international community. it is a blessing  for the Afghan women because the international community has helped us a lot in the way of making a structured path for the women here in Afghanistan to get their needed rights.  From the 19th century and through the twentieth century the rulers of Afghanistan consistently attempted to lessen women’s restrictions in the country. For the most part, these attempts were unsuccessful; however, there were a few leaders who were able to make some significant changes for the time period as they unfortunately could restrict and prevent the basic and fundamental rights of Women. Throughout the 20th century, Afghanistan continued to be a country dominated by tribes and men continued to have ultimate control over women but in the later part of the history some of the Afghan political party tried to reform the marriage laws, women’s health laws, and encouraged women in getting education. During this crucial period of time the ball turned in the court of the women as they could gain some freedom though this freedom was not important and eye catching in that time. However there were some positive signs as people were optimist that there would be bright day after the dark past history for the women. In a country where 85% of women are deprived from education where women are so desperate for justice that they set themselves blaze and where women cannot even step outside of their house without their husband’s permission, how can we really believe that Afghanistan is really a democracy and that things are getting better for Afghan women? This is a biggest question which arises in the mind of every Afghan woman. In country where children see that how their fathers, brothers and every man in the society mistreat and underestimate in the family they cannot be expected to see that a woman has rights or opinions. By passing laws that further instill abusive treatment of women, Afghan men find justification to continue mistreating women in the society.

it is very unfortunate to say that (Zinat Karzai)  the wife of our current president a medical doctor…has no voice, is rarely seen in public and is reported to have told an activist that she did not leave the house because her husband did not like it and did not give his permission.” When the governing body of our country has problem with the women’s’ right what can be expected from the people of that country. At the end of my column being a woman I dare can say that I am deprived from my fundamental rights of mine. There has to come a revolution and a complete change in the set mind of people in Afghanistan they have to believe that women in our society plays a vital role in adopting peace chance. Let’s make at tow o’clock that our women have to have their right. Being as a Muslim we believe that almighty Allah has created equal both man and women. It is on the young and fresh blood generation of our country that they have to stand with the Afghan women in the way of getting their true rights. If a woman can contribute to her family or community in culturally acceptable ways, men may start to recognize women not just as a housekeeper and caretaker, but also as an individual who can generate some income for the household or make needed contributions to the community, placing women on a more level playing field with men. Furthermore, such activities give women a sense of achievement and boost self-esteem, attitudes that are invariably passed down to future generations.

Zainab Ahmadi is a permanent writer of the Afghanistan Express Daily.

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