Imagine a country where a woman is depicted as only being used for sex and a as slave for their husband. Imagine a country in which women are denied an education. Imagine a country where women are sent to jail, beaten, and left to die a long painful death for disobeying an order. There happens to be a country in which all this is true. Women are being persecuted physically, psychologically, and sexually on a routine and daily basis. The government in Afghanistan is likely one of the worst (globally) in its record of persecuting women. The government’s influence on society results in a common viewpoint of inferiority of women in the Afghan race.
Throughout time the citizens of Afghanistan have become accustomed to the oppression of women. This has affected millions of women throughout the country. There was a time when women were able to work in the fields without their husbands, whereas in the modern era, women can’t leave their homes without their husbands. For the most part women were prohibited from inheriting their own land. Overall women mostly lived under purdah, the traditional system that separates humans based on race or gender that places women in the bottom tier of the social pyramid. Women were not allowed to leave their homes without a male dominant and if they went against this they were beaten or killed for “dishonoring” the family.
Historically, Afghan women had many challenges. However, within the last ten years the government has denied women the right to vote, work, choose their partners for marriage, have a public life, but most importantly, most women are denied the right to a basic education. Much of this change in women’s rights began with the rise of the Taliban in 1996. This was a Muslim group of fundamentalists in Afghanistan. The Taliban caused the highest women suffrage anyone had ever seen. Under their rule, eighty-seven percent of women were illiterate, only thirty percent of girls had access to an education; and seventy to eighty percent of women were forced into marriages. Also, the World Health Organization rates Afghanistan the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world. These changes resulted in a life expectancy of women in Afghanistan of barely forty-four years old (Qazi). One woman dies every twenty-nine minutes in child birth. To compare, when the average life expectancy of a woman in United States was 50, it was 1900 (Moody Jr.).
Since the Taliban left power in 2001, the Afghanistan government has made some improvements toward the treatment of women. However, the transition from unspeakable history to improved rights for women is a grueling and arduous journey. No doubt the transition to the global modern woman will be a difficult one. A human right is “any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled and in whose exercise a government may not interfere” (“Human Right”). Although the government has made some strides, there is evidence that shows women are still being forced into marriages, sexually abused, and denied an education.
Even under the new direction of Hamid Karzai women are still being oppressed. Sakina, fourteen, was sold into marriage with a forty-five year old living a life of a servant and enduring constant beatings. She finally ran away from home and has been trying to get a divorce ever since. Her in-laws (the ones that “bought” her); however, will not allow it because they paid good money for her (Stengel). Another woman set her legs on fire to escape the environment of a drug addictive and abusive husband (Stengel). Eighteen year old Aisha, had her ears and nose cut off by her husband and brother-in-law after trying to escape and was left to die (Stengel). These are a few examples of the harm being done to women. There are many acts like these happening throughout Afghanistan on a regular basis (This is inductive reasoning because there are many examples leading up to one conclusion)....