This year we commemorate International Women's Day at a time when, unfortunately, with every passing day we witness the murder, rape, mutilation and abuse of women in our country. At the same time, we are witness to the fact that the murderers of Farkhunda, Rukhshana and countless other such women in our homeland continue to bully and assault women with impunity and enjoy the hearty support of arch-criminals in the government and outside it.
During the past four decades that our country has been embroiled in war and the most undemocratic and misogynistic forces –from the Khalqis and Parchamis to Islamic fundamentalists, the Taliban beasts and US puppet governments– have ruled us, the women of our country have lived through the worst and darkest days of their lives. Violence and crime have reached their peak, in particular during the past fifteen years, under the rule of so-called “democratic” governments. Recent reports on the humiliation of women and girls by forcibly subjecting them to virginity tests are another slap in the face for the misogynistic Ghani-Abdullah government and their foreign props.
With the growing awareness of women, fundamentalist and reactionary forces and governments in every society see the writing on the wall. Therefore, a prominent feature of such regimes and forces is to suppress the emancipation movements of women and imprison this half of society within the confines of the home. One of the first actions of Islamic fundamentalist parties in the 1990s in our country, soon after taking power, was to go on the offensive against women and take away their rights and freedoms. Today, too, potentates and warlords, in sync with their Taliban think-alikes, prey on women and subject them to their criminality and depravity.
March 8 is a reminder of the epic struggles of legendary and indomitable women who fought fearlessly to attain equal rights for women and sacrificed their lives in the quest. History bears witness to the fact that in no country have women attained their rights through the might of bombs, cannons and guns of occupying outside forces.
There is no doubt that during the past forty years the women of our country have given the most sacrifices and suffered the worst oppressions, but on the other hand, the history of our country is full of heroic and intrepid women whose works and epics should be a model and a source of inspiration for all of us. Attaining emancipation from all this violence and barbarism calls for the heroic intrepidity of the likes of Malalai of Maiwand, Naheed, Wajiha, Mina and other indomitable women. Women’s voices raised for their rights can and must morph into a women’s emancipation movement. We saw in the course of the past year how the blood of innocents Farkhunda and Tabasum united our people and brought thousands into the streets in an unprecedented manner which shocked the corrupt Ghani-Abdullah regime. It is our duty to maintain this justice-seeking surge.
The struggles of the warrior women of Kobani in Syria, who are in more or less identical situation as Afghan women, can serve as a model for us. Until and unless Afghan women themselves consciously rise up to emancipate themselves, no power on earth can liberate them from the chains and shackles of fundamentalism and decrepit feudal and patriarchal relations.
The Solidarity Party of Afghanistan (SPA), with its unshakeable faith in the latent might of Afghan women, extends the hand of friendship to all progressive forces and individuals and true advocates of the equality of women, and calls for their solidarity. In the current calamitous condition of the country, history has laid on the shoulders of progressive forces and individuals the formidable duty of prioritizing in their work and struggles the awareness and mobilization of women, because no struggle can be victorious without the active participation of this half of society.
Solidarity Party of Afghanistan
Kabul, 8 March 2016