March 8 and women’s narratives in Afghanistan

9 Mar 2024
6 Minutes
March 8 and women’s narratives in Afghanistan

The same time as International Women’s Day and women’s solidarity, a number of Afghan women say that they are among the most deprived women in the world, and with the Taliban group coming to power, their deprivations and restrictions have increased.

It is celebrated every year from March 8th around the world to support the achievements of women in the political, social, cultural and economic sectors; However, the Taliban group in Afghanistan has denied women and girls access to their basic rights to education, education, work and freedom of movement.

Zainab Hosseini (pseudonym), a women’s rights activist, told the reporter of The Peace Window that the political developments in Afghanistan have affected women’s lives and for the first time in twenty years, students above the sixth grade were prohibited from going to school, and most women were still allowed to go to school. They do not work in public and private offices.

Ms. Hosseini added that after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, most women stopped social activities and now only a few women are active in the health and education sector.

Nourieh Atai (pseudonym), another women’s rights activist, has said that although it has been almost a year since the rule of the Taliban group; But still Afghan women do not have their basic rights as; The right to work, education and choice have not been achieved.

According to Mrs. Atai, Afghan women are among the most deprived women in the world, and with the Taliban group coming to power, their deprivations and restrictions have increased.

He stated that the restrictions against women in Afghanistan have increased and a large percentage of girls and women have become mentally and psychologically vulnerable because they have lost their motivation and hope for the future.

Zahra Ahmadi (pseudonym), one of the residents of Kabul city, says that women are half of the society and without their presence there will be no progress in the society, and she asked the Taliban group to allow women to work in all fields of work and also considering education and expertise. They should also be allowed to work in high government positions.

He emphasized: “Women worked in high government positions in the last twenty years. They were the minister, deputy and chief, and all of them had high education and professional experience, and we demand from the Taliban group that women be given the opportunity to work in these departments.”

Leila Sarvari (pseudonym), one of the students of public schools in Kabul city, says that girls going to schools and universities and still having the right to work for women has become like a dream for her.

Mrs. Sarvari added: “It is International Women’s Day and we request the Taliban group to remove the restrictions on women and allow us to study, educate and work.”

On the other hand, by holding separate programs in the capital on the occasion of March 8, a number of women asked the Taliban to participate and participate meaningfully in the society.

Bagham Hosni (pseudonym) journalist said: “We are the half of the society that has a large number of women and journalists here today on behalf of this half of the body, and each one of them who works in the same media is the voice of the same woman who is in the farthest part of Afghanistan. His voice cannot be heard.”

However, the UN Deputy Mission in Afghanistan, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and a number of other international organizations and diplomatic institutions consider the situation of women in Afghanistan to be worrying.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has published a newsletter saying that Afghan women are facing the consequences of various crises and gender inequality and discrimination.

Roza Otunbayeva, head of UNAMA, has said that the restrictions imposed on Afghan women are an obstacle to sustainable peace in Afghanistan, and called on the group to end the restrictions imposed on Afghan women.

Amnesty International also said in a message on the occasion of International Women’s Day that the world celebrates this day while women and girls in Afghanistan cannot fully enjoy their human rights, especially the right to education and work.

Smriti Singh, Amnesty International’s regional director for South Asia, said that the Taliban have increasingly violated the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Mr. Singh says that women human rights defenders, activists, and protesters have routinely been harassed, arbitrarily detained, and tortured by the Taliban.

He wrote: “Afghanistan is in danger of becoming a forgotten crisis.”

Human Rights Watch has also expressed concern about the situation of women in Afghanistan and has said that many restrictions have been imposed on women in recent months.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Haider Bar, head of the Women’s Division of Human Rights Watch, asked the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) not to call the Taliban “ruling authorities”.

He added: “On this International Women’s Solidarity Day, one small but important thing that diplomats, aid workers and UNAMA officials should do is to stand by the women of Afghanistan and not call the Taliban the ruling authorities.”

According to him, addressing the Taliban as their “ruling authorities” is an interpretation of their desire for “normalization”.

This organization has also criticized the lack of effective global coordination in protecting the rights and achievements of Afghan women and girls.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the European Union wrote on its X-page that there are no limits to what women can do.

The union said, without naming any position, to “stand up and acknowledge the importance of equality, rights and opportunities for women across Afghanistan and around the world.”

On the other hand, in a message on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Karen Dicker, the representative of the US Embassy in Afghanistan, said that “Afghan women” are “important and necessary” for the future of Afghanistan.

He added: “Let’s create an opportunity to listen to (women’s) voices.” He also said that women are “necessary” for peace and prosperity in other parts of the world.

Rina Amiri, the special representative of the United States of America for Afghan women’s affairs, said on the occasion of International Women’s Day that if the world does not act to support Afghan women, women’s rights will be endangered everywhere.

Supporting women’s protest actions in the country, he added that the “extraordinary courage” of women should be respected.

Ms. Amiri said: “On International Women’s Solidarity Day, we respect the extraordinary courage of Afghan women and girls in defending their rights against the extremist, systematic and relentless orders of the Taliban.”

On International Women’s Day, Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, has asked the Taliban to immediately and unconditionally release all those who have been arbitrarily detained for defending human rights, especially the rights of women and girls.

On the other hand, a number of political figures in Afghanistan ask the Taliban authorities to open the gates of schools and universities to girls.

Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, said on the occasion of the International Women’s Day that in order to achieve progress, evolution and escape from dependence, it is necessary to pay serious attention to the education and job opportunities of women and to provide the environment for the development and flourishing of the talents of girls in the country.

Mr. Karzai added that the future of Afghanistan also depends on the solidarity and meaningful participation of the men and women of this land.

He said: “According to the evidence of history, Afghan women have been prominently present side by side with men in all developments and fields, especially independence struggles, and have established their role and position as responsible members of society.”

The former president of Afghanistan has asked the Taliban group to open the gates of schools and universities for girls.

Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the Supreme Council of National Reconciliation in the previous government of Afghanistan, has also said that women have the duty of educating the next generation and guiding the society towards good and success, and their rights should be protected in all fields.

Shokrieh Barakzai, a former member of the Afghan parliament and a women’s rights activist, says on this day that the 8th of March not only has its meaning for Afghan women in Afghanistan, but this day is actually a day to remember our historical struggles for women. It comes to us. Injustices, discrimination and violence against women systematically.

Ms. Barakzai added that this year, we are celebrating the eighth of March in an atmosphere where Afghan women are deprived of their most basic human rights, unlike all other countries in the world. What is more painful is that the exclusion of women from all fields is a great oppression of women. Unfortunately, the women of Afghanistan today have been subjected to torture, mental, physical and physical torture just for the crime of being a woman.

He asked the women of Afghanistan to be united and says that this unanimity makes trust stronger.

However, on the occasion of March 8, Taliban officials say that the government of this group is committed to providing full rights for women and tries to do more in the areas that are ambiguous for women.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Taliban group, said in a message: “There are efforts to create jobs and business opportunities for our sisters and increase their capacity; But the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan commits itself to what the Islamic Shari’ah has allowed for them and which framework it has presented.”

International Day of March 8 was celebrated for the first time in 1914 in Germany, and since then, this day has been celebrated every year all over the world.

International Women’s Solidarity Day is celebrated in Afghanistan while the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on the rights and personal and social freedoms of women and girls for more than two years.