In the last 25 years:
Patterns of violence against women in conflict do not arise ‘naturally’ but are ordered, condoned or tolerated as a result of political calculations.
The status of women in Afghanistan has been used by armed groups as a political tool in their struggles to secure and maintain power. Most armed groups have imposed restrictions on women in the name of religion and culture as a means of consolidating their own position and legitimacy. Notions of honour and shame underpinning cultural norms and practices emphasise female modesty and purity. During the last two decades, but particularly between 1992 and 1995, armed guards have used these norms as weapons of war. At the same time, acts of violence perpetrated against women – public beatings, and sexual assault – appear to have been used as instruments of intimidation, humiliation and coercion, of women and the wider population. The repression of women symbolises not only their vulnerability, but also the powerlessness of their male relatives to protect them. If the aims of peace and development are ever to be realised in Afghanistan, then women’s fundamental human rights must be respected. It is now recognised the world over that progress, social justice, the eradication of poverty, sustained economic growth, and social development all critically depend on the full participation of women on the basis of equality in all spheres of society.
Invoking religion and Afghan culture, most armed groups have made pronouncements about appropriate behaviour for women, imposing restrictions on their freedom of movement and access to employment and education in areas they controlled. Women have been publicly harassed, intimidated and beaten for carrying out activities deemed by armed guards to be ‘un-Islamic’. Most consistent and stringent in their enforcement of restrictions on women is the Taleban.
it’s quite interesting to see that women rights have been used by americans as justification for military intervention in Afghanistan. on the ground the situation changes very little in favor of women … in Afghanistan we have seen some urban improvement.
Warlords are occupying parts of the territory and see women as commodities for trading, to settle land dispute. Abductions and forced marriages are about as bad, if not worse, than at any time in Afghan history.
Warlords are not being pulled out, they’re not being prosecuted, they’re not being investigated for the crimes that are openly committing. expereince from other post-conflict / violence countries shows that human rights violation will prolong if some of the people who were involved in the violation hasn’t been courted.
amnesty international urged the International Criminal Court to “pick up and prosecute one or two high-profile cases because that will send the message that violence against women cannot continue in such an impunity, which is the norm today.”
Even where women are not deliberately targetted, they are the main victims of so-called collatoral damage, whether caused by “precision” bombing or landmines, the report said.