Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 21st, 2019

On Lashing of Woman in Takhar

It seems that violence and discrimination against women in Afghanistan would take a long time to diminish. Although, there were promises for Afghan women in the early days of the so-called democratic government in Afghanistan, there have not been real efforts to eradicate discrimination and violence against them. Therefore, every now and then, different sorts of incidents in different parts of the country remind the people in Afghanistan, particularly the women, that their role and position have not been heightened within the society in true sense.
One such incident has been recently highlighted by social media and relevant authorities. As per the details, a woman was publicly lashed several times by forces of a local commander in a village in Takhar province. The order of lashing of the woman was given by a kangaroo court, though, for unknown reasons. A video of the event, also spread through social media, shows at least five men lashing the 22-year-old woman in a public place while others shout at herwith abusive words. The relevant Takhar officials have confirmed the incident, but they claim that the incident took place about 45 days ago.
It is not important whether the incident took place a day ago or 45 days ago, the important point is to ask what the government authorities have been doing to stop such incidents; particularly, in the places where they claim to have their control. Moreover, it is also vital to question that what tangible measures are carried out by the government to control violence and discrimination against women in different parts of the country.
Unfortunately, issues pertaining to women have been handled by the authorities in a hypocritical manner. They have been used to attract donor funding and treated on project-based manner. Some efforts are made only temporarily to show the donors that there are actions being taken but it is also ensured that the issues are not solved permanently; thus, enabling the officials to keep on attracting donor funding.
As a matter of fact, the magnitude of work that has been done regarding the rights of women in Afghanistan is much less than the funds and resources that have been utilized. A cursory look at the condition of women in different parts of the country would reveal the whole story. Moreover, the incidents of violence and atrocities against women have kept on multiplying, which shows the nature and frequency of violation of women rights and their subjugation by the male members of the society and the social norms and values. 
There is a clear rise in incidents of violence against women. This is directly linked to the overall security situation. As the security situation in the country has deteriorated the weaker strata seem to be in trouble the most. There was no serious attention to their woes and now with rising insecurity, the authorities have more excuses for less attention to the issues of women. Women and many intellectuals believe that even if the security situation improves there will be serious challenges for women to earn a reputable position within Afghan society. Even if peace is restored, there are fears that Afghan government may sacrifice some of the achievements that are made regarding the heightened role and position of women. Taliban and Daesh insurgents have never been in favor of active role of women in social and political lives and they will make every effort for limiting their role as much as possible. Afghan social structure has been fervently dominated by religious extremism and tribal partiality.
Most of the self-designed religious doctrines and tribal norms are against the women and discriminate their basic rights. Regrettably, these norms and principles have even gone to the extent of aggression and have tortured women physically – even in the public. They, in the name of dignity of women, have in reality dishonored them. Though they have been raising their voices every now and then but in the noise of male shrieks they seem to be negligible and get faded away. In fact, the male-chauvinistic ears are not ready to hear them though they feel their vibrations clearly. Nonetheless, the efforts in this regard must never be given up and they should continue in every possible way.
With such a situation existing around, it is really difficult to see development in condition of women who have been undergoing discriminations since ages. Afghan authorities and all the Afghan people, both women and men, must strive to change the scenario as it would help the society as a whole as women are an essential part of it.
We need to accept that women form an integral part of society and have an imperative role to play. Their representation and participation in different walks of life can help society develop suitably. They cannot be kept on being discriminated and violated without letting up, because it is not only non-religious but at the same time cruel because above all women are human beings. Unfortunately, this evident fact has not been realized by many in Afghan society. The Afghan authorities, therefore, needs to revitalize this fact and play a more effective, honest and determined role to secure Afghan women from violence and discrimination on daily basis.