Women, men should be treated equally: activist
ZARANJ (Pajhwok): A women’s rights activist and author of two books in southwestern Nimroz province says females should be respected and treated like men in order to strengthen their position in society.
Fareshta Sherzad said women were always oppressed in Afghanistan’s patriarchal society and their rights always ignored.
The 35-year-old, who serves as a schoolteacher in Zaranj city, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok Afghan News that there was no difference between men and women, who could work better than men in some areas.
She hoped the government would pay more attention to young generation especially women to improve their capacity.
“Carelessness about women and violence against them forced me to write some books and a long letter in their support,” she said.
She wrote the 35-metre lengthy and 25-centimter wide letter about subjects discussing family problems concerning women and girls in Afghan society.
One part of the letter guides women about how they can improve their position in a society like Afghanistan.
The letter also describes causes behind not allowing women to make decisions their own and being considered as feeble-minded.
Sherzad said questions she had asked in the letter belonged to thousands of girls like her. “The only way to get rid of being oppressed is to get more education and enable women to find their position in the society,” she added.
Sherzad, who formerly worked as presenter with a local radio, said she had shared the letter with the Ministry of Information and Culture and was appreciated by the ministry officials.
Her two books discuss 22 subjects in 94 pages each. The first and second volume of her book “Faryad-i-Dil” that highlights social problems facing women has already been published. Sherzad said her third book about women was also ready to be published.
The costs to publish the first volume of her book were paid by a former Nimroz governor Ghulam Dastagir and she paid herself the costs of the second volume.
Sherzad said her message to women was that they should not become disappointed and should participate in cultural activities.
Women’s Affairs Director Amina Hakimi said Sherzad’s books were effective in spreading awareness about violence against women.
She said such efforts by women could encourage them to stand against illegalities and violence against the gender.
According to her department, 36 cases of violence against women have been registered in Nimroz this year. The cases include three murders, nine divorce and four runaway from homes incidents.
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