Since there are whispers of peace and negotiations for ensuring it, at national and international levels, a frequently asked question in all meetings, conferences as well as in online panel discussions is laid out, and women are the target audience of this question. The people who ask the question are mainly from different institutions and are of democratic nations who have largely honored a deeply democratic sentiment; those who have been peacefully living in the shadow of democracy.
I can certainly say that Afghan women, in particular, civil society and women’s rights activists, have quite often encountered this question. I understand you also tend to know what the question which is now taking the form of a stereotype is.
Not long ago, today afternoon I was confronted with the question once again. Let’s leave my answer to this question for later. For now, I feel like scrutinizing the question itself.
What do you want to sacrifice to attain peace?
To better understand it, we have to have a look at the following questions:
What has been leading to this question?
Why is it quite often asked from women? / Why women are quite often the target audience of this question? What are –
women’s answers to these questions?
The weakest have been the biggest victims of human conflict since time out of mind. Women, as particularly vulnerable group of the society, have been the major victims in situations of men’s conflict. This vulnerable group of the society are confronted so many problems, and throughout the course of life, they have never lived a relaxed life. They live in a society characterized by men and conservative patterns, where men are the key decision-making powers in the life and fate of women.
It seems like even today, in the twenty first century, the situation remains the same.
It can be understood from the drift of the question that women, as compromisers and peacemakers in the society, are seen to be the easiest target victims throughout all the phases of the peace process. Statesmen.
believe they can target/attack women’s rights and their fundamental freedoms and can come to terms with them. We hope them, having a wrong image of the Afghan society and the realities within it, they would not have been testing us.
Over the last hundred years, the Afghan nation, in particular women, have been fighting to obtain their rights and have paid a high price for it. It would be a severe injustice if women were once again made to pay the price for peace at cost of losing their lives.
The war-devastated country has been simmering in blood for 40 years. Women have long been living in a country, which is emerged as the most unsafe place for them to breathe and to live in. They have adapted to different life conditions—low income and facilities. It is forty years that Afghan women have been suffering physical and mental breakdowns; what war has gifted them. They are not alive, but they are not dead too—they are not living at all. But they have never gave up on their dreams of building this country despite it was a battlefield for combatants and seen as a competition among others. Women were enrolled to schools; they gained access to higher education and acquired knowledge; they entered labor market and joined workforce, and even, provided work opportunities for other men and women.
Speaking at a meeting with civil society activists two weeks back, the government Attorney General, Farid Hamidi said that as many as 4,000 applicants applied for 17 vacancies in one of the provinces of the country, which represents a change over the last two decades.
I believe the Afghan women have sacrificed for four decades; now, they have nothing left to lose. Women’s access to education, their socio-political participations as well as the right to work—is it too much in demand?
In all Muslim countries around the globe, women are actively participating within their societies. To illustrate this, Indonesia and Malaysia in the south-east of Asia, the west-African Morocco and other Muslim countries—all recognize women’s rights to access education and others of their rights.
In all Muslim countries around the globe, women are actively participating within their societies. To illustrate this, Indonesia and Malaysia in the south-east of Asia, the west-African Morocco and other Muslim countries—all recognize women’s rights to access education and others of their rights, freedoms that the Afghan people have gained.”
Afghan woman decided to stand for their rights and keep their achievement.