Afghanistan: "We women are more tired than ever of fundamentalism and religious radicalism"
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||24 August 2010|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Afghanistan: "We women are more tired than ever of fundamentalism and religious radicalism", 24 August 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4cb6d2161a.html [accessed 18 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Open letter to President of Afghanistan
H.E. President of Afghanistan,
The last decade in the history of our country, despite all the shortcomings, was full of hope for the women of Afghanistan. In the first few years of the decade, we witnessed positive developments toward freedom of women from yokes of captivity, fanaticism and fundamentalism. These hopes opened a new page in history for women and we may dare say that the newly founded democratic government of Afghanistan became a bastion of ideals of gender equality and justice for women who were tired of the rule of fanaticism and misogynism. Those developments revived the lost dignity of Afghanistan at the international level. Alas, those hopes and achievements have been subjected to disruption and regression in recent years leading to human catastrophes such as assassinations, stoning and gender discrimination.
Mr. President! The reports of stoning of two women in Badghis and Kunduz provinces have frightened and deprived of sleep all women and enlightened people of Afghanistan. Those events are reminders of the recurrence of the violence and inhuman acts of the dark-minded fundamentalists and have revived the shocking and bitter memories of the captivity under their rule.
Do these atrocities not frighten you as the official who has been given, with our vote, the responsibility to guard the Constitution and protect the lives and property of the people?
Mr. President! We women are more tired than ever of fundamentalism and religious radicalism, because, as history would testify, we have suffered most from them. We seek the rule of law more than anybody else, in particular just laws that would guarantee the human rights of women. Our hearts beat for peace and security more than anybody else, because war and insecurity would endanger and sacrifice our legitimate and human rights more than all.
Mr. President! We have fought for many years for the establishment and continuation of a democratic government in Afghanistan and we have paid a heavy price for it. In elections during the past decade, countless number of women walked many kilometers to reach the ballot boxes. Many women have been killed for their activities and their fight for equality. You and the ruling establishment of Afghanistan as the elected representatives of the people have a duty today to guard the people's rights. Not only must you do your utmost to provide the people with security, peace and welfare, but you must be accountable for events that question the rule of law and the three branches of power.
We still consider the Constitution as the symbol of our demands and ideals for realisation of justice and ask you to:
1. Take more serious measures to provide security nationwide and prevent the recurrence of such horrendous and inhuman actions;
2. Prevent the recognition of unwritten customary laws that question the legitimacy of the Constitution and the international obligations of the government of Afghanistan and promote traditional justice, the first victim of which is human rights of women;
3. With a view to three cases of stoning during your five years in office, make women's human rights the foundation of every negotiation and agreement with the armed opposition groups and the Taliban in particular;
4. Prevent the empowering of institutions parallel to Constitutional institutions;
5. Identify and prosecute the perpetrators and commanders of the recent atrocities.
We are waiting for your response and your firm and prompt action in this regard.
The Afghanistan Women's 50% Campaign