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Balkh women activists plan post-peace awareness events

Balkh women activists plan post-peace awareness events

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Jan 14, 2020 - 17:10

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): A number of womeninfo-icon’s rights activists in northern Balkh province on Tuesday said they planned to conduct awareness programs for women’s rights in rural areas of the province once peace was established in the country.

The activists said violence against women has been on increase due to factors linked to insecurity, urging the warning sides to take real steps towards ending the on-going conflict in the country.

Marya Rahin, an Afghan Women Network (AWN) member and an instructor at the Balkh University, told Pajhwok Afghan News that dozens of positives changes had come to women’s lives during the past two decades.

She said currently tens of thousands of girls went to schools, thousands of women performed formal jobs and many were busy in politics, social and commerce affairs nation-wide.

However, she said such positive changes and development in women lives remained confined to urban centres and stable areas only.

She said they conducted women’s rights events in rural districts and areas of the province in 2003 and in 2004 but now the situation had changed and they could not walk even around Mazar-i-Sharif as the conflict was underway in most of districts.

She hoped after establishment of peace, violence against women would also decrease and rights activists would extend their programs to all rural areas of the province.

Rahin added women’s rights activists had encouraged women in cities and stable places and such efforts should be extended to rural areas after the establishment of peace.

Azita Hashimi, a fresh graduate of sharia faculty from Balkh University, has been active as a women’s rights activist for the past few years in Balkh.

She said women have good and better position in Afghanistaninfo-icon laws but they have been struggling with multiple problems. She said a large number of women still lacked knowledge about their rights.

She said, “Some women in rural areas still think that violence against them and their beating by husbands is a legal act.”

She said some women were still unable to raise voice against on-going violence and it was all because of the ongoing conflict.

She said after peace establishment she and a number of women were ready to conduct women awareness by going home to home and village to village.

 According to her, women bear the brunt of the ongoing conflict in the country but women will have access to laws and justice in societyinfo-icon after peace is established in the country.

Shagofa, (fake name) 16, a resident of Chamtal district, told Pajhwok she left her school after 8th grade. She said her family told her to leave school due to Talibaninfo-icon threats and culture barriers.

 She said, “Women and girls in our society have no rights to make decision about their future.”

She said, “It was my big wish to complete educationinfo-icon but cultural barriers did not let my dream come true.” She hoped the ongoing conflict would come to an end and after that she would again start her school.

She said many women awareness programs were brought to the province but a few were implemented and less number of women benefited from them.

She urged the government to invest mostly in districts for bringing about positive changes to lives of rural based women.

She also called on Taliban militants to end the conflict and resolve it through peace dialogue.

A number of other women held similar views and urged the warning parties to arrive at peace negotiations instead of continuing the conflict in the country.

Meanwhile, Shahla Hadid, women affairs director, said after establishment of peace they will launch some awareness programs for women’s rights in rural areas of the province.

She termed insecurity as major hurdle to their activists in some places of the province. She said violence against women in cities had recently decreased due public awareness programs in the province.

Pk/ma

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