The people of Afghanistan are never far from our thoughts. As an individual, I know there's very little I can do other than offer meaningless support and sympathy. Donated money could end-up almost anywhere, and with The Taliban in charge, one wonders if 'giving' would be simply funding more outrage.
One thing about Afghanistan that really surprised me recently (about which I'd previously known nothing) was the 'Where is my Name' campaign.
I imagine that most would agree that The Taliban's attitude to women is a disgrace, but I'd had no idea that their hatred spread as far as women's names. Not only do these poor women have to cover themselves completely, but it seems that Afghan women are also only known by their relationship to men. Daughter of Mohammed X, Sister of Mohammed X, Wife of Mohammed X, etc. Women's actual names do not appear on their death certificates, or on the birth certificates of their children. They will not appear on the invitations to their own weddings, or even on their gravestones.
There was a recent case where a woman was beaten to death by her husband because her doctor had written her actual name on a prescription form.
The recent 'runaway' President, Ashraf Ghani had promised to look into amending the regulations, but now that The Taliban are back in control, I presume nothing will change.
We who live in the civilised world should give thanks every day that by a freak of nature we were not born in Afghanistan. Those women in the above photo would have been horrified by how primitive their country has become; the photo was taken 96 years ago, and could have been taken in The Luxembourg Gardens or Hyde Park.
With the rag-bag militia now in charge, and calling the shots, it doesn't look as if life for Afghan women will improve for quite some while, but maybe they could show some decency by allowing them to use their own names. It's not that much to ask.
The subjugation of women (across ALL cultures, taking different forms) is a mystery to me. After all, MAN is born of woman. At pains. Men tend to revere their mothers. And yet, and yet. Maybe, on some PRIMAL level, women are seen as extensions to their man folk. Be they fathers, husbands, sons.ReplyDelete
As I am writing this, and come to think of it, I do believe (you give an example) that women are at most risk from their fathers and, particularly, husbands who "love" them.
Even here in the "civilized" Western World women are still walked down the isle by their fathers, to be handed over at the altar - to another man. I hasten to add a tradition whilst still observed in English churches does not apply in my motherland.
Humans are strange, Cro; with all our evolving since coming out of the cave, knowledge, insights, the Enlightenment, philosophy, grand ideas, our "intellect" - we do things to each other animals wouldn't upon their own.
I have known women who were really upset by not having their dear Papas by their side when walking down the aisle; but I agree it does seem rather belittling. I was raised and originally educated by women (up until about 8), so have never seen women as 'inferior'.Delete
Don't forget that The Church has a service called 'Churching', when post partum women are 'made clean' again by the church. How disgusting is that!!
This will be a popular post. You'll get another big set of comments. Masks, Afghani women. Global warming tomorrow?ReplyDelete
Current events will always be of interest to people (and to me). Global warming NO, but Extinction Rebellion maybe!Delete
The Taliban of 2020 who need to run a country with all that goes with that may not be as the Taliban of the 1990s. Only time will tell.ReplyDelete
With ISIS-K on their heels, it could be far worse!Delete
To run a government they may actually find that they need to give women jobs in the running of the country. After all in the past 20 years things have changed in Afghanistan. Young people have known freedom that they will not want taken away. Smart phones, music. Who knows.Delete
I'm sure the Taliban members have their own mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. How can they condone that sort of treatment to those they are supposed to love?ReplyDelete
One never knows whether to believe what one reads in the press, but as far as I can see, they treat their own mothers with the same contempt as other women. They make no distinction between them.Delete
However much I may occasionally grumble about the way things are done here, life could have been so much worse if I had been born into that society. Truly sickening.ReplyDelete
I cannot understand how they justify their behaviour. I've not read the Koran, but I doubt very much that it tells these louts to treat women so badly. If it DID, they should have quit Islam at once.Delete
From what I understand the Koran does no such thing - in fact - it states that both men and women should dress modestly. It is the interpretation made by men for their own purposes that subjugates women.Delete
Rachel is much more optimistic than me - it's a mess - and will remain so - and the drug trade will flourish again. But I'm with you Cro - I would never donate to this part of the world as I cynically assume that most of it will never go to those in need.
I was only saying to some friends yesterday how lucky we were to be born here in the UK . This is why I never moan about my country or my lot. We just cannot imagine what millions go through on a daily basis. XXXXReplyDelete
We are very fortunate to have been born in a part of the world where we have freedom, full supermarket shelves, free medical care, and not too many people about who want to kill us.Delete
Afghanistan was a country travelled through by Australians en route and mostly overland to London and known as the Hippie Trail. free living Afghanis were hospitable to them and as long as they didn't stand out too much, they could indulge themselves with sex, drugs and rock and roll as much as they liked.ReplyDelete
It was probably still quite oppressive for local woman, but what a downhill slide has happened since then. Don't men have an identity problem too with so many being called Mohammed?
I do remember when Afghanistan was an essential part of the hippy trail, when Afghan coats became fashionable. My first son had a mini Afghan coat, that was highly admired.Delete
Never forget who provides weapons etc. to the taliban and who is exporting without any distinction these weapons. It's all a question of power and domination and of course money and has nothing or very little to do with Islam. Dominating women and girls has a long history in mostly all countries in the World. Concerning the ongoing war , we must know when Russia entered Afghanistan during the Cold War in 1979 , the USA was a great friend of Ben Laden.ReplyDelete
I don't see the connection, or not, between Russian Arms dealing, and Islam.Delete
US allegiances change with the wind.
like the film Iron Man, Stark Industries makes the weapons they use against them.Delete
What Lou said is completely true. We have a dreadful habit of butting in where we shouldn't. Women continued to be stoned to death in Afghanistan even during Ghani's 'rule'. I think it is very suspect that he so abruptly left the country, and is now negotiating his return with the Taliban. I believe what happened in Afghanistan is what was planned to happen right along. It is heartbreaking.ReplyDelete
Ghani would probably have been executed had he stayed. He has a good stack of money and a house in Dubai, I don't think he'll be going back home!Delete
An poignant point you make, Debbie. And, yes, Lou too. "... habit of butting in where we shouldn't".Delete
My father (and others), once upon a time, put it far more brutally: "Let them sort out their own shit". Even if it meant (never spoken out aloud) an awful lot of suffering of the innocent.
As an aside: I have a different take. I call it "bystander apathy".
However, my sentiment not withstanding, truth is that we (in the West) outsource our wars. For whatever gain. As long as it's not in OUR backyard.
I could riff on this subject forever, ask questions: Love they neighbour as you love yourself (?). And that doesn't just apply to those who read the Bible, virtually every religion, including the Koran Cro mentioned earlier. It features in all teachings, not least the atheist's: Basic morals, ethics.
Fact is we violate our own humanity. Shame on all of us.
Over the past 20 years the US have lost around 2,500 military, and the UK around 460. Then we pull out having been told by a bunch of ragged terrorists that if we're not out by a certain date, that there will be CONSEQUENCES! And who keeps telling us that they are the world's greatest superpower?Delete
I never knew that about women's names under Taliban rule. Thanks for sharing the information Cro even though it is awful. In Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", the accused John Proctor says, "How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" In a sense, a name gives us personhood and value.ReplyDelete
It's like a final insult to take away someone's name. They become 'nobody'; just a chattel.Delete
Reading the Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon would probably help both of you to understand some of the things affecting women under the Taliban. It is a true story of life under the Taliban in the 1990s and written by an American journalist who was there at the time. I wrote about it on my blog recently.Delete
I am reading the Bookseller of Kabul.Delete
I find the whole subject of Afghanistan too distressing even to contemplate. I feel utterly helpless.ReplyDelete
I think that's how we all feel. We look on knowing there's nothing we can do. Obviously even the Americans think the same.Delete
It is disgusting that the US spent 2-3 trillion dollars funding efforts in Afghanistan over a 20 year period and today there is nothing to show. That said, the Afghan people have pursued education abroad during this time. Taliban rule will have to factor this in. I wonder what percent of the Afghani population is educated?ReplyDelete
There are at least two universities in Kabul.Delete
It all depends what you classify as 'Educated', and what you consider to be a 'University'.Delete
Umm is mother, it is a sign of respect in Arabic to be recognised this was. So if your son is called Ali, the mothers name will be Umm Ali. Same as men of a certain age, That are Abi or Abu. Brother or Father. The English version would be to be called Aunty by a child who is not a family member. Even Bridget Jones in the film has an uncle who isnt family. This form of address is cultural not the talibanReplyDelete
So, why the 'Where is my Name' movement? For women not to be allowed to use their actual names must be of concern to them.Delete
I think that there are two sides to this. There are women who are forced into marriages against their will, to brutal men. And where the problem comes in is that these poor women have no recourse. They have no rights under the law. They have no names. All power is in their husband's hands. They are stripped of their voice. They are stripped of their names. They have absolutely no way out. If they run away, they will be stoned for their disobedience even if their husband is a bastard of the first order.Delete
If you are raised in a patriarchal society, but are in a relatively happy marriage, you are living your life as you always expected to live it.
I never knew about taking away the woman’s name, can I copy part of your post please…DebbieReplyDelete
Of course you may.Delete
We are still running at the mouth. I despair.Delete
So, he's now gone to the UAE. Maybe The Taliban knew his address in Dubai.Delete