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Girls and Women suffer in countries like Afghanistan!

Marriage in childhood and violence
Gulsoom was a 12 year old girl who was drowned in her childhood’s dreams and games. She even did not know the meaning of marriage and shared life with a husband, however, she invited her friends to participate in her doll’s wedding.
One day instead of her doll she becomes the bride herself and goes to her husband’s home to Ghazni Province of Afghanistan. After six months of her marriage, her husband dies. She did not have anyone to live with them and did not have any other way, but to return to her parents’ house. When she returned to her parents’ house, her parents did not behave with her like six months before. She spends very hard days. Her mother is no more kind to her. She daily abused and insulted her. She was beating her saying she had a bad luck and why she came back to her house. Gulsoom lives this harsh and difficult life for one and a half year and then due to violence she no more can tolerate, so by the help of her sister-in-law she goes to Kabul, Afghanistan. From there she is helped by a woman to take her to (Women Office for Afghan Women) and they are trying to find a way to solve Gulsoom’s problems so that she can live a normal life.
This is the real story of one child in Afghanistan, but there (not might be) but are millions of Gulsooms suffering in different parts of Afghanistan. They are helpless and must live even the worst life they are provided.

What can we do being women all over the world to help them in action?????????


michellee's picture

keep up the good work

You are doing so much to help the tragic situation of girls in Afghanistan just by bringing Gulsoom's story to our attention. At the Gender Justice Dialogue going on right now Sister Joan Chittister said, "If you cry out, eventually the world will cry out with you." And Catherine MacKinnon believes "we will end gender violence as an ordinary everyday matter in our time." Keep working at it!

Be well,

World Pulse Technology Associate

jadefrank's picture

Needs Assessment

Dearest Hawa,

Thank you for sharing the story of Gulsoom. It is so important for the International community to hear the stories of Afghan women to give the world a clear picture of the reality for women in your country and what the needs are to empower women and provide them with the tools to take an active role in rebuilding your nation.

I recently read a powerful report written by Women for Women International on women in Afghanistan.

The conclusion of their report and advice for the International community was this:
• Ensure that aid and development reach women e.g. via microcredit loans and other means of generating income, which benefits the whole community
• Implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 for the protection and recognition of women in conflict zones – funding national institutions aimed at supporting women and their rights, especially at the local level
• Re-allocate military funding and resources from broad development initiatives to those that increase safety and security for civilians in villages, markets and other public spaces – so that local organisations, civil society and NGOs can mobilise Afghan people to re-knit the social fabric.

They also urged voluntary organisations, NGOs and others to take the lead in areas such as:
• Publicity to make women aware of their rights and the benefits to society. Options include radio programmes, public-service announcements, television dramas, billboards, giveaways like buttons and t-shirts, cartoons and illustrations of
civic and constitutional developments.
• Programmes to raise local awareness on domestic violence. It encourages male leaders from all sectors—religion,
police, military, government and business--to help change the attitudes and behaviours of other men.
• Denounce violence against women and bring perpetrators to justice. The Action Plan for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation, adopted at the Bonn conference, should be modified for domestic violence and implemented locally.
• Provide local incentives for new livelihoods before enforced eradication of opium crops: unless the rural Afghans who rely upon the poppy industry have an alternative, they will face more hardship which in turn will lead to more forced marriages, prostitution and violence against women.
• Reject limits on women’s political participation. One option would be to cultivate a national development corps of women ready to take on leadership and decision-making roles at community, provincial and national levels. The 2009 elections present an opportunity to launch new initiatives such as voter registration and education.
• Promote literacy, academic study and technical expertise. Although illiteracy is a major problem, those who can read need better access to locally-based higher education in science, IT, medicine, law, teacher training and alternative education. Universities from other countries could establish satellite campuses, exchange programmes and research partnerships.
• Increase public access to information. The national census must collect reliable data, broken down by gender, for policy and
budgeting. International organisations like the UN and its agencies, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation must ensure the results are transparent and publicly accessible.
• Explain the law. Efforts to extend justice across Afghanistan must reconcile new and future laws with pre-existing local legal structures. People must understand how they can incorporate new laws into their way of life.

Read more:

Do you find this to be an accurate assessment and steps of action for the international community? What needs do you feel are not currently being met? Know that we are listening and interested to hear the needs of Afghan women directly from women on the ground, like yourself.

In friendship,

Hawa's picture

Dear Jade,

I am happy for your detailed reply. Everything in the report by Women for Women International on Women in Afghanistan

Allah (SWT) is the greatest!

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