Freedom is fundamental right for any person. It carves the personality of any person. Not only for a person, but also it is necessary for every living being. But now-a-days, Afghan women's position is quite different. They want freedom and equality for their survival, but have no opportunity for education. They can'tdo anything they want. Their own husband, father and brothers think that freedom is not good for women. When the US and Britain ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan, they said that they would remove women'smiseries. But five years later, their position is getting worse.
Education gives us capacity to think about any matter; it gives us capacity of judgement. But in Afghanistan, women have no right to go to school, though some women teach and learn secretly. In Kabul, if someone kills a female teacher, he gets 50,000 Afghanis. Such miserable condition is prevalent not only for those women who are teaching, but also for those women who are in non-governmental organisations, working on literacy and advocacy projects, and are in media.
Media and press are the medium for people, which give freedom to write or to give their opinion about any social, political, or economical issue. But a woman in Afghanistan, Farzana Samimi, who works in a television as a presenter anchor, for a weekly programme on women'sissue, is the target of constant threats. There, a third of districts are now without girl'sschool, due to attacks on teachers and students by the Taliban and anti-government elements. Nilab Mobarez, a 45-year-old doctor, who stood recently as vice-presidential candidate, says: ?Every day women are sacrificing themselves for their family or tribe. We still do not have the judicial system to resolve this.? 28-year-old Malalai Joya, the youngest and most famous of all the women in the Afghan Parliament, who stood up against oppressive traditions, received number of assassination threats, but she is still prepared to work for the upliftment of women through government and international organisations.
A woman who had to work in secret in an underground school in Herat during the Taliban regime is now able to speak out against her enemies in Parliament. However, she is still under protection because Taliban are threatening her with dire consequences.
There is no democracy, no security, and no women'srights. Therefore, there is no fundamental change in the situation of women and all these activities are being committed despite many efforts by the US. The Taliban are continuing with their crimes in a different way. When the US and Britain ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan in November 2001, wife of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Cherie Blair said: ?We need to help Afghan women in bringing their voice back, so they can create a better Afghanistan that we all want to see.? But after five years, what is the position of the women there?
There are many women who are forced by Taliban to marry with the person of their choice. The principal of the women'spolice academy, Homera Dakik, was forced to marry 10 years ago with the head of the Taliban secret services. Her father refused, but they kidnapped her. She spent four years in that family but during that time she experienced only terrible mental torture. After the Taliban fell, her father gave shape to her dream?which was her freedom. But there are many other Homeras who are forced to live in such situation.
After the fall of the Taliban, women were happy. They dreamt of a change in their position. But now they have great fear as things are not going in the right direction. Many women are struggling with their life alone because they are badly treated by their husband. One Kochai says: ?I don'twant that my children see all these things. So with my children I am living separately.? But they face shadow of fear every night. Many ordinary women and working women are threatened by the Taliban that they are spies of the government. They threaten them, ?Don'twork and if they don'tlisten, then they will be kidnapped and killed.?
This is the plight of Afghan women, who have no right and who die many time before death.
(The author is a research scholar, English Department, Ch. Devi Lal University, Sirsa, Haryana.)