The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
I am the Head of the Literacy Department of the Directorate of Education in Khost Province and have worked for many years as a mediator for women’s issues. As most women of Khost Province are illiterate, and some districts are yet to establish schools for girls, through the Literacy Department, I have conducted courses for women and girls above the age of 14 to enable their basic reading and writing skills. As a well-known human rights defender, I have worked in solving many of women’s issues through the Committee on Elimination of Violence against Women and tribal Jirgas (councils), with help of the police.
Women in Khost are exposed to discrimination and violence. Girls’ education is till grade six, after which they are sent off to marriage or asked to stay home. Forced marriages, being sold off, physical violence, lack of access to inheritance rights are some of the issues women face on daily basis. Women don’t work in government posts in Khost, as most of the positions are held by men. Women are discouraged from applying for government positions as their posts are given to men and justified with unlawful reasons for not being appointed.
I have intervened in many cases of women being abused, sometimes solving the case with the help of local elders and at times through direct mediation. One of my biggest successes is organizing a Master's Degree programme for women in Khost to study in India, funded by the US Embassy. Despite being threatened and attacked, I am continuing my activism.
I hope women are independent, have security, and have equal opportunities for studies, get to live a life free from violence.
Show your solidarity
Send a solidarity message to all of the 16 WHRDs in Afghanistan featured, or any one of them, and let them know that they are not alone. Please email your thoughts in a personal message to AfghanDefenders@amnesty.org and we will share them with the activists.
Solidarity email template:
I’m writing to express my solidarity with Women Human Rights Defenders in Afghanistan. Your stories inspired me greatly. It is disheartening to hear the situation of women’s rights in Afghanistan but your stories show that there are strong, brave people like you who do not tolerate injustices. I stand with you.
#InSolidarity #WHRDs #BRAVE #16DaysOfActivism
Tags: AFGHANISTAN, HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS AND ACTIVISTS, WOMEN AND GIRLS, ARMED CONFLICT.
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