Seventeen years after the turn of the century, the country
once again finds itself at crossroads. The economic, political and social
conditions in the country are deteriorating each day. There is so much out
there that is ailing the country but on this auspicious occasion let’s focus on
perhaps the biggest hindrance to peace stability and growth in the country;
Violence against women.
It is so sad that for the last one hundred years when the
rest of the world was moving forward, implementing policies to safeguard and
include their female populace in nation building, Afghanistan continued with a
backward culture that effectively alienated more than half the country work
force and minds. This is not a sustainable model in any country. Looking around
one cannot deny that all the countries that have taken a similar approach to
that of the country have found themselves with a myriad of problems which they
are scampering to solve without any avail. The solution to this is right here
within the borders, and within the homes of all Afghanis. The genesis of these
problems cannot be pinpointed to a single issue rather from a series of actions
that have been perpetrated and perpetuated against the female populace
ultimately culminating to what the country is going through today.
Afghan women find themselves at the mercy of their opposite
gender a factor that has led to widespread abuses and denial of their rights.
Right form the onset, women are denied an equal chance like their counterparts
to access education. Generation after generation of such alienation has meant
that ultimately women have not ascended to any positions of influence of power.
At least not at a scale that can influence change in the country.
Critically looking at the reasons that have led the country
here, we can deduce that one of the practices that has enabled this situation
is etched deep in the traditions of the country. Afghanistan is a deeply
patriarchal country. Men hold all the power and say. Women on the other hand
have been viewed as lesser humans meant to bow to whatever the males have to
say. Human rights have already lacked substance in a culture that views some of
their own as inferior. In a country that boasts of one hundred and six women
for every one hundred men, it is easy to see why this is a problem. Over half
the country is deemed inferior and in the process over half the country
productivity is lost. If the community and the country as a whole would
accommodate and accept women as equals, surely there would be a profound
change. This culture of victimizing women must stop as it is driven by weak men
who have no confidence in their abilities thereby resulting to making others
feel inferior just to soothe their egos.
Girl’s education should be given equal importance as that of
the boys there is another stumbling block that has made this as a pipe dream.
The spread of radical Islam. Venturing outside the city and into the villages,
there is a growing problem that condemns women and children to even more
misery. Radical groups practicing radical Islam have taken root and spread
their ideology through terror and fear. These groups with their overly
conservative ideologies regarding modern day life continue to wreak havoc on
the very fabric of modern life. Educating girls in such an environment is next
to impossible due to the violence meted on anyone who as much tries to think
about it. This is a major hurdle considering that more than a third of the
population live in the villages. The problem with this is again compounded by
the fact that under these conditions, underage girls are being forced into
nearly marriages robbing them the chance to experience a full life where they
can realize their full potential.