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BBC News: Afghan Women Jailed for "Bad Character"

Reading the BBC news this morning, I came across Lyse Douset's piece on the most popular crimes of Afghan women in jail, which is "Bad Character." The report then explains that approximately half of the women in jail did not commit crimes that require a prison sentence, yet due to the injustice against women, an innocent person is pronounced guilty. Moral crimes range from talking to a boy, leaving home to seek help from domestic violence (thought of as running away from the husband), and even bearing the child of her husband. While these could hardly be the women's fault, they are now marked black in the eyes of society.

This is injustice at its worst. The fact that society condones abuse of women rather than protection is evident in Afghanistan and shown in their treatment of women. Even with the courage to speak up for their innocence, there is an element of fear towering over those who are willing to make a stand for what is just. Not only in Afghanistan, but everywhere in the world, women are being devalued, objectified, suppressed, silenced and abused.

Sometimes, it might seem that we are so powerless in these situations, but looking back at how far we have come, I am proud of what women were able to achieve in the past century. Together, in love and unity, there is strength and courage as we walk towards the future we are longing for. Let us walk in one line and continue to stand for our sisters!

The BBC article/clip could be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8771605.stm

Comments

Carri Pence's picture

The creation of fear is how

The creation of fear is how Afghanistan and many countries are controlling women. It is a cultural fear that is installed at all levels from the patriarchy of the family to the head of the government. If a women speaks out she is abandoned and if not in a physical jail she is in a mental prison, lacking justice from the bottom up. Thanks for your post, it echoes through the stories of PulseWire.

With courage and strength,
Carri Pence

jluoh's picture

I agree

Carri, thank you for pointing out the "fear" aspect of control and oppressing women. Fear is such a strong and evil tool. No one should have to live in fear everyday, but we do. I don't think anyone is devoid of fear of one kind or another.

Even without government oppression in Canada, women fear perverts, rapists, abuse, financial insecurity, and the worst of all is low self-image. I find this whole Hollywood glamour, sexy image of woman's body is such a corruption to the real beauty of women, which lies in their hearts, and reflected in whatever shape and size we are.

However, I still see women with courage stand up for what they believe in and I find them incredible. And people like Lyse Douse who, from another culture could bring the hearts of Afghan women into international news is also an encouragement as women work together to help each other.

My thoughts were all over the place.

Thanks Carri!
Love
Jen

Carri Pence's picture

It is amazing to see the work

It is amazing to see the work that women are doing around the world to stand up against GBV. Fear is a tool of the perpetrator but also placing insignificance of the issue and the victim itself is a way the abuser gains strength over the issue. My question to you is how do we re-frame our minds so we won't become a subject of fear. And furthermore, how can we create confidence in women so they will stand up for themselves and to their abusers.

Thanks Jen-your intelligence causes me to constantly learn and reevaluate my thoughts from your entries!

With love,
Carri Pence

jluoh's picture

I myself am also struggling

I myself am also struggling with fear and confidence on a daily basis. And, I am far from knowing what to do about it, but one thing for sure is that I know my weaknesses and am able to expose my vulnerabilities to the people who care about me, who I know will not hurt me. I was reading "The Confident Woman" by Joyce Meyer and it helped me alot. In the big picture, confidence is not living without fear, it is doing what's right despite of the fear.

Well, I suppose the first step of overcoming fear is to expose it and talk about it to trustworthy people. Many people live in the shadow of fear without ever having the opportunity to share that feeling and being comforted, knowing that others understand. Sharing the burden with others, I always find strength. We can help each other. But this sharing should be confidential and with people who truly cares. I have seen many people get hurt in the process of sharing with the wrong people.

Yeah, that's my 2 cents on your question and I bet there will be more as I keep learning and experiencing on this topic.

Love
Jen

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