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.

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Women’s Rights — Whose Rights are they Really?

There’s been a lot of talk in the news this week about the new laws in Afghanistan, including conjugal laws that condone marital rape. When you hear these kinds of things, you wonder what good has come of the peace efforts in Afghanistan and are we just wasting our time?

I heard one expert on the CBC pose the question: Should we expect a country seeped in tradition and tribal laws to change over night? We’re talking marital rape here. If you have the choice to condone this or stop it, wouldn’t you, as a human being of the free world stand up and say NO! Rape is rape and it is NOT okay, I don’t care where you live.

In this CTV clip, Human Rights Activist Sally Armstrong praises the $5M-dollar peace efforts in Afghanistan and says it’s just an electioneering stunt on the part of Karzai and his government. Sounds like a bad omen to me: