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Women's rights in Afghanistan - Essay Example

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It has been nearly two decades that there has been any reliable demographic statistics on Afghanistan. During the late 70's it had been estimated that over two million Afghans out of 16 million had been killed in the war of resistance against the Soviet occupiers and later on in the civil war unleashed by fundamentalist alliances, enjoying the espousal of foreign powers…
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Womens rights in Afghanistan
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Download file to see previous pages It has also been noted that during the most favorable times in Afghanistan, the overall literacy rate was less than 20% amongst males and less than 5% amongst females; surprisingly considered by some to be optimistic. Against such a backdrop, the country plunged into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists in 1992. This was deemed as a misfortune for women's rights. The new government of the country pledged prompt action to improve the conditions of women. A report by the international women's organization, Womankind Worldwide reported that millions of Afghan women and girls continue to face prejudice and belligerence in their day-to-day lives. Now, it has been acknowledged by the Afghan women's rights groups that women in Afghanistan now have a variety of rights, which they were deprived of earlier.
The major religion practiced throughout Afghanistan is Islam. This religion guarantees equal rights to men and women before their Lord and gives them various rights such the right to inheritance, the right to vote, the right to work, and even choose their own partners in marriage. This was practiced over 1400 years ago. But this is not the case observed in Afghanistan, neither now, nor earlier. Here women have been denied these rights either by official government decree or by their own husbands, fathers, and brothers, now for centuries, even though their religion permits them the same. 1996 to 2001 was the worst of all times experienced by the women in Afghanistan, or of any other society. Women were degraded, forbidden to work, leave the house without a male escort, not permitted to seek medical assistance from a male doctor, and were forced to coverthemselves from head to toe, so much so, that even their eyes were to be covered. The female doctors, teachers and other professionals were forced to beg and even become prostitutes just to support their families. Their social rights were snatched away and were badly encroached.
The year 2001, brought a revolutionary change in the social, political and cultural condition of women in Afghanistan. According to the newly adopted constitution, women's rights were recognized and they were given equal rights and duties as males, before the law. Women were now allowed to get back to work and resume to their social lives. The obligation on wearing the all covering burqa, was relaxed and they were now respected and even appointed to prominent positions in the government. Despite all these changes, there still remain many challenges for the women of Afghanistan. (Qazi, n.d.)
No Improvement in Women's Rights in Afghanistan
It is evident that the women in Afghanistan are looked down upon and not given their due rights. Their right to full participation in social, economic, cultural and political life of the country was drastically truncated and soon summarily snatched and denied to them. Women were completely deprived of their birthright of getting education, of the right to work, of the right to travel, of the right to health, of the right to legal recourse, of the right to recreation, and of the right to being human. They were not allowed to travel in private vehicles with male passengers; they did not have the right to raise their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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