International Women’s Day Focus on Afghanistan, Algeria
Women around the globe marked International Women’s Day by calling attention to human rights abuses against women in Afghanistan and Algeria.
European Union Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Emma Bonino led a campaign which urged all countries to deny recognition of the Taliban militia because of its horrendous treatment of women.
British Secretary of State for international development Clare Short joined Bonino by urging the international communities to “take a stand” against Afghanistan. “Discrimination against women is human rights abuse on a global scale and a major hindrance to the elimination of poverty,” said Short.
Women’s human rights are being systematically denied and abused by the Taliban militia group in Afghanistan, which has seized control of two-thirds of Afghanistan since 1994. Their goal is to construct a “100-percent Islamic government.”
The Taliban has prohibited women from working outside the home or attending school, from walking outside their homes without a husband, brother or father and requires that all women wear a burqa, a debilitating garment that covers the body from head-to-toe.
Intelligence sources in Pakistan have admitted to sending agents of the nations’ main spy agency into border areas of Pakistan and prompting Afghan refugees to create the Taliban, a militia group which would then join in Afghan’s civil war. The Pakistan spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, then assigned military advisers to the Taliban’s militia with United States officials’ knowledge.
“State Department officials distanced the United States from the Taliban after its fighters seized Kabul, hanged Afghanistan’s former communist ruler, Najibullah, and imposed restrictions on women,” reported the Washington Post.
Iran’s highest female official, Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice president for environmental affairs, spoke at a women’s assembly in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, a town outside Taliban rule. Ebtekar said, “your unbearable present status is eyed with deep concern by the Moslems all over the world .... Your sisters in the Islamic republic are taking measures to establish Islamic human rights of women in the world which will contribute to the improvement of the status of women and provide progress in all the areas for the Moslem communities around the world.”
Iran has said that it will not recognize the Taliban militia group as a legitimate government and has condemned the group as “medieval” in its practice of fundamental Islam.
Approximately 500 women attended a rally in the capital of Algeria, demanding that the Algerian government amend a new law that gives men power over women by awarding the home to the husband if the couple divorces and requiring that the wife obey the husbands’ parents.
Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan
Feminist News Stories on Afghanistan
Media Resources: Washington Post, Reuters - March 8/9, 1998
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .