Women’s Rights Atrocities Continue in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s top female rights activist, Sitara Achakzai, was gunned down in Kandahar outside her home by two men on a motorcycle on April 11. This tragic and senseless incident took place fresh on the heels of President Hamid Karzai being forced to call a review of the new legislation condoning marital rape. 

Many are criticizing the war in Afghanistan as a senseless waste of lives and money, and hope is waning for this country’s turnaround. It doesn’t help that there is a complete disregard of the law and that people in power like Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali, encourage violence and corruption by offering $3,000 to anyone who murders a councillor.

However, before this war, you would not have seen the kind of protest that took place on April 15 in Kabul — 300 women marched in protest of their rights, despite more than 1,000 men who showered them with insults, stones and gravel. You’ll notice from the clip that they even reveal parts of their faces and hair that normally would have been covered up. This is at least one small glimmer of hope, that these women have had enough and are no longer afraid to stand up and say so.

Please also check out CBC’s The Current and this interview with activists Irshad Manji, director of the Moral Courage project and Nelofer Pazira, Afghan Canadian journalist.