Statement of 50% Campaign of Women of Afghanistan*
On International Human Rights Day & National Day of Victims 10th December ,2010
Thursday 9 December 2010, by
The government of Afghanistan has confused the people with its ambiguous policies in the past nine years. We are of the opinion that the lack of a united strategy between the government of Afghanistan and the international community has turned the country into a scene of rivalry between the domestic forces and other countries. Women of Afghanistan have always warned the government that it is not possible to move toward democracy, moderation and conciliation among all the people without taking into consideration the demands of women and taking practical steps to fulfil them. We have always been concerned that the rights of women â€“ half the population of Afghanistan â€“ and their achievements may be sacrificed for political deals.
We are celebrating the Human Rights Day against the backdrop of governmentâ€™s failure to respond to violations of human rights in the past, the demands for justice of the victims, and the continued gross violations of human rights in Afghanistan. The killing of the civilians, bombing of houses, use of chemical weapons in southern parts of Afghanistan, enforced displacements, migrations, death of children and women as a result of attacks by the international forces, the Taliban and their companions, the homelessness and captivity of innocent people under the pretexts of terrorism, poverty, unemployment and other problems continue to occur and are on the increase.
Celebration of the Human Rights Day brings up the question of how far the government has adhered to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and implemented it in practice. Freedom and equality are values that have to be experienced in practice. The inequalities in the society, inefficient expending of the huge funds donated by the international community, persistence of the problems, perpetuation of the war, planning of war strategies and the ensuing changes to them raise worries of women for the future of Afghanistan and undermine our belief in the possibility of fulfilment of justice and achievement of a just peace.
The 50% Campaign of Women of Afghanistan, as the representative of a group of women of this land, declares that we have risen to gain our rights and demand justice. The government of Afghanistan must note that its ambiguous policies endanger lives of us women and fail to offer a clear prospect for the people of Afghanistan. The government must be accountable for women who are suffering from illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, domestic and social violence. The latest reports and studies published in the past few months show that domestic violence has increased and political participation of women has decreased. The government and the authorities must realise that marginalising the women in respect to decision making and sufficing to their symbolic and show presence on the macro political and economic stages is an irreparable mistake that will impact the presence of half the population in the public and private domains.
Afghanistan is going through a very important period of time. The international public opinion is increasingly losing its interest in Afghanistan. Civil movements aiming at the withdrawal of foreign forces are on the rise in other countries. Financial assistance is on the ebb. Other countries will no doubt leave Afghanistan in the future and the people of Afghanistan will assume the responsibility for their countryâ€™s security and administration. It is therefore the responsibility of the government to take a wise and responsible approach to issues that deal with our destiny. The directly elected government of Afghanistan must consult the people in all fateful decisions. The government must listen to women of different walks of life. Lives of women are affected most from peace and war. Therefore, the government must make sure to hear and consider not just the voice of a specific group, but the voices of different representatives of women. Women are still waiting for the authorities to investigate the atrocities. As the first victims of gross violations of human rights in the country, women are opposed to a general amnesty and impunity of human rights violators before implementation of fair proceedings and before taking into consideration the views and rights of the victims.
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* Campaign of Women of Afghanistan started operating in May 2009. It comprises womenâ€™s rights activists and defenders on various levels in the unions, the press, NGOs, political parties and social and political institutions, who have come together to leave impact on the authorities through their unity and joining voices.