Women, Weddings, and War: The Society of Afghan Women- Past, Present, and Future.

The history of women’s rights in Afghanistan is deeply rooted in political hierarchal and moral terriorism. Women in Afghanistan have been persecuted for centuries, even before the Taliban rule. Women were subjected to gender roles inclusive of arranged marriages, covered manes, and limited political freedom. Afghanistan is one of the few countries that still practice societal oppression on women. Currently, afghan women still are subjugated in acts of war and terriosim, are victims of political assimilations for refusing to marry sutures approved by their father, and are targets of random acts of sexual abuse. It is important to the note the history of women’s rights and social pressure in Afghanistan at different points in afghan’s history. A few turning points in women’s history in afghanstian were:

January 1, 1921 Amunallah Khan’s wife, Queen Soraya, opens Afghanistan’s first school for girls in Kabul. During the early 1920s, she also starts a women’s hospital and a magazine called ERshad-E-Niswan (Guidance for Women).
Jan 1, 1978 The PDPA takes over the government, resulting in further social reforms including separation of religion and government, banning burquas and raising the minimum age of marriage.
Oct. 1, 1924 Khan grants women the right to choose their husbands, something previously decided by male relatives.
Oct. 1, 1978 A decree from the PDPA-controlled government requires education for girls, abolishes walwar and sets the legal age for marriage at 16.
June 2, 2010 Over 1,600 tribal leaders and community activists meet to discuss the peace process. President Karzai proposes economic incentives to discourage Taliban members from fighting. Many women’s groups are outraged at the idea of negotiations with the Taliban that could leave women’s rights vulnerable.
Oct. 3, 2011 At the ten year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, 2.7 million girls are in school, compared to just a few thousand in Taliban times, according to an Oxfam report. But those improvements are already slipping and could be lost in negotiations with the Taliban, the report warns. Another report marking the anniversary, by Action Aid, says that 72 percent of Afghan women believe their lives are better now than 10 years ago, while 86 percent fear a return to Taliban rule.

Source: Timeline of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

The most impressive of these climactic points in history is the milestone reached by Afghan government and the U.S presence in that country. Even though Taliban forces still lurk and cause great desperation among the women population, the Afghan society find hope in American forces establishing a democratic system of , religion, and social moral. However, women living in Afghan are continuous victims of oppression and are always trying to overcome the conservative and restrictive limitation set forth by family morals, politics, and society.

A documentary examining the rights of women in Afghanstan as well as how women have played a role in the War on Terrorisim. This documentary can be found on PBS and you can also view part of the documentary here.


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