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Re: War on women in Afghanistan

Posted by Ravinder Dhillon ( on January 02, 2001 at 17:51:23:

In Reply to: War on women in Afghanistan posted by Mandi Johnson on September 09, 1999 at 19:31:28:

: Please add your name to the list on the bottom.

: >
: >Please spare a minute to read this mail. Thank you. The government of
: >Afghanistan is waging a war upon women. The situation is getting so
: >bad that one person in an editorial of the Times compared the
: >treatment of women there to the treatment of Jews in pre-Holocaust
: >Poland.
: >
: > Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women have had to
: >wear burqua and have been beaten and stoned in public for not having
: >the proper attire, even if this means simply not having the mesh
: >covering in front of their eyes. One woman was beaten to DEATH by an
: >angry mob of fundamentalists for accidentally exposing her arm while she
: >was driving. Another was stoned to death for trying to leave the
: >country with a man that was not a relative. Women are not allowed to
: >work or even go out in public without a male relative; professional
: >women such as professors,translators,doctors, lawyers, artists and writers
: >have been forced from their jobs and stuffed into their homes, so
: >that depression is becoming so widespread that it has reached
: >emergency levels.
: >
: >There is no way in such an extreme Islamic society to
: >know the suicide rate with certainty, but relief workers are estimating
: >that the suicide rate among women, who cannot find proper medication
: >and treatment for severe depression and would rather take their
: >lives than live in such conditions, has increased significantly.
: >Homes where a woman is present must have their windows painted so that
: >she can never be seen by outsiders. They must wear silent shoes so
: >that they are never heard. Women live in fear of their lives for the
: >slightest misbehaviour. Because they cannot work, those without
: >male relatives or husbands are either starving to death or begging on
: >the street, even if they hold Ph.D.'s.
: >
: >There are almost no medical
: >facilities available for women, and relief workers have mostly
: >left the country. At one of the rare hospitals for women,a reporter
: >found still, nearly lifeless bodies lying motionless on top of beds,
: >wrapped in their burqua, unwilling to speak, eat, or do anything, but
: >slowly wasting away. Others have gone mad and were seen crouched in
: >corners, rocking or crying, most of them in fear. One doctor is
: >considering, when what little medication that is left finally runs out,
: >leaving these women in front of the president's residence as a form of
: >peaceful protest.
: >
: >It is at the point where the term 'human
: >rights violations' has become an understatement. Husbands have the
: >power of life and death over their women relatives, especially their
: >wives, but an angry mob has just as much right to stone or beat a woman,
: >often to death, for exposing an inch of flesh or offending them in the
: >slightest way.
: >
: > David Cornwell has said that those in the West
: >should not judge the Afghan people for such treatment because it is a
: >'cultural thing', but this is not even true. Women enjoyed
: >relative freedom, to work, dress generally as they wanted, and drive and
: >appear in public alone until only 1996 -- the rapidity of this
: >transition is the main reason for the depression and suicide; women who
: were
: >once educators or doctors or simply used to basic human freedoms are
: >now severely restricted and treated as sub- human in the name of
: >right-wing fundamentalist Islam. It is not their tradition or
: >'culture',but is alien to them, and it is extreme even for those
: >cultures where fundamentalism is the rule. Besides, if we could
: >excuse everything on cultural grounds, then we should not be
: >appalled that the Carthaginians sacrificed their infant children, that
: >little girls are circumcised in parts of Africa, that blacks in the US
: >deep south in the 1930's were lynched, prohibited from voting, and
: >forced to submit to unjust Jim Crow laws.
: >
: >Everyone has a right to a
: >tolerable human existence, even if they are women in a Muslim country in a
: >part of the world that Westerners may not understand. If we can
: >threaten military force in Kosovo in the name of human rights for the
: >sake of ethnic Albanians, then NATO and the West can certainly express
: >peaceful outrage at the oppression, murder and injustice
: >committed against women by the Taliban.
: >
: >**********************************************************************
: >
: >
: > In signing this, we agree that the current treatment
: >of women in Afghanistan is completely UNACCEPTABLE and deserves
: >support and action by the people of the United Nations and that the
: >current situation in Afghanistan will not be tolerated. Women's Rights
: >is not a small issue anywhere and it is UNACCEPTABLE for women in 1999
: >to be treated as sub-human and so much as property. Equality and human
: >decency is a RIGHT not a freedom, whether one lives in Afghanistan or
: >anywhere else.
: >
: >
: >**********************************************************************
: >
: >1) Shahana S Ahmed, Nairobi, Kenya
: >2) Tashmin Khamis, Karachi, Pakistan.
: >3) Frank Haupt, Bern, Switzerland
: >4) Adrian Coad, Strasbourg, France
: >5) Brian Skinner, Loughborough, England
: >6) Paul Chung, Loughborough, England
: >7) Bryan Knell, Woodhouse Eaves, England
: >8) Richard Tiplady, Chesham, England
: >9) Carolyn Skinner, Ilford, England
: >10) Fiona Bower, Lewisham, England
: >11) Angela H. Moor, Lewisham, England
: >12) Ian L. Moor, Lewisham, England
: >13) Hugh Shanahan, Cambridge, England
: >14) Anne-Christine Davis, Cambridge, England
: >15) Tom Kibble, London, England
: >16) Sten Larsson, Stockholm, Sweden
: >17) Goran Sjonell Stockholm Sweden
: >18) Frans J.M. Konig, Velp, The Netherlands
: >19) Carl Steylaerts, Zandbergen, Belgium
: >20) Theo Compernolle, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
: >21) Leo Neels, Antwerpen, Belgium
: >22) Jan Van Esbroeck, Antwerpen, Belgium
: >23) Angela Wap, The Hague, Holland
: >24) Michelle Kuypers, The Hague, Holland
: >25) Sander Grande, The Hague, Holland
: >26) Eric Houwen, Alphen a/d Rijn, Holland
: >27) Matthijs Hertsenberg, Groningen, Holland
: >28) Gert-Jan Schoppert, Utrecht, The Netherlands
: >29) Els Groenewoud, Bussum, The Netherlands
: >30) Margot Klerkx, Jakarta, Indonesia
: >31) Frank Schrijnemakers, Jakarta, Indonesia
: >32) Yvonne Kraak, Huatulco, Mexico
: >33) Martiene Stavast, Kopenhagen, Denmearken
: >34) MariŽlle Penrhyn Lowe, Haarlem, The Netherlands
: >35) Alexandra Penrhyn Lowe, Kerkenveld, The Netherlands
: >36) Katy Pfaffl, New York, USA
: >37)Alexis Kern, Wayne, NJ
: >38) Kristine Willey, New York, NY
: >39) Elizabeth Schneider, Brooklyn, NY
: >40) Robyn Peet, Wappingers Falls, NY
: >41) BZ Bonoboy Evans, UHH, Hilo, Hawai'i
: >42) Rod Schichtel, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
: >43) Sara Thornton, London, England.
: >44) Nicola Barnett, London, England.
: >45) Serena Stevens, London, England.
: >46) Mandi Johnson,Hebden Bridge, England.
: >47) Ravinder Dhillon, Toronto, Canada

: >Please sign to support, and include your town and country.
: >Then copy and e-mail to as many people as possible. If you
: >receive this list with more than 50 names on it, please e-mail a copy of
: >it to: Mary Robinson, High Commissioner, UNHCHR,
: >webadmin.hchr@un.org and to: Angela King, Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the
: >Advancement of Women, UN, daw@undp.org
: >Even if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not
: >kill the petition. Thank you. It is best to copy rather than forward
: >the petition.
: >
: >Angela and Ian Moor
: >London England
: >
: >
: >•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
: > "When I dare to be powerful--
: >to use my strength in the service of my vision,
: >then it becomes less and less important
: >whether I am afraid."
: > Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
: >
: > "Power concedes nothing without a demand.
: >It never did and never will."
: > Frederick Douglass
: >
: > "Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape
: >it." --Bertolt