That gender differences exist is not a secret. They are of all times and all places. The female gender has been the underdog for centuries but despite this bad description still there were and are bright sides. The female gender fought for several rights and claimed positions as president, ceo, parlement members, police officers, doctor, top lawyer, artist and architect. These rights did not come without a fight and compromises by great female visionary who fought for not only their own rights but also for that of ours. Some countries are in the same state as that the Netherlands was in the 18th century concerning the female right. Afghanistan is a country far from my bed but close to my heart where gender discrimination and oppression is daily cost.
The war of 30 years has brought the Afghan women back to the 18th century. The time went backwards without their content. Afghan in the 21th century women got stuck with nothing but a Hijab, the right to breath, reproduce and maintain a household. While I am summing this up I feel imprisoned. Stil a little bit of improvement came across the path of the Afghan women after the fall of the Taliban and they got more access towards education, politics and other civil services but still the restriction remains. chain that withholds them to move forward is the actual fear and danger of sexual harassment. Every country has to face this crime against the female gender but in Afghanistan there are no laws that specifically prohibits sexual harassment. This gives sexual offenders free pass to do whatever they please without being punished.
If seeking help after being victim of such act most women are bound to close their eyes, shut their mouth and bind their hands with the restriction of being a gender that is underrated, disrespected and unheard in Afghanistan. Because of the sexual harassment in Afghanistan against women, even those who have to protect us, commit this sin without any sanction or consequences. Most female police officers are victim of sexual harassment by their own colleagues. This results in a shortage of female officers. Its like the Domino effect. The lesser female police officer the less women can complain against injustice and violence and the more the crimes against the female gender will grow.
The ones playing this domino game are the men. They stand at the beginning of the chain pushing down every bit of freedom progress and security Afghan women gain. The way to legal process is minimum for the Afghan women. Because of cultural boundaries they only complain or talk to a female officer. Those being in shortage, most women decide not to complain and remain at home just to prevent the evil, violence and injustice done against them. The sexual harassment harm all the women of Afghanistan indirectly. The brave ones going out asking and demanding for their rights are punished with the burden of a bad name and those staying at home will not dare to step out to the world in the fear of being the next victim. Those protecting us will keep screaming for justice in a man dominating world where no rules, laws or regulations will form their safety net and eventually they will get tired and resign from their work.
While the new government underlined the importance of security for Afghan women in order to stimulate the growth of Afghan women working, studying and social participation, we just hope that this is not an act to win souls in Afghanistan and beyond the borders. We hope this government keeps the dignity and respect of those being our sisters, daughters and mothers. The heart of the country lies in the hand of this gender.
By Sodaba Abibzay