Thursday, September 06, 2012

Blog #2, Kabul attack on female actors leaves survivors facing more 'punishment'

This week in the guardian, there was this article that deeply disturbed me by Emma Graham-Harrison, in Kabul. In Kabul, because of the prejudices against women, there have been many death threats and even murder. Afghanistan, as stated by Sahar Parniyan, “is not made for women, whether actress or not”. Sahar, her sister, and their friend were in the process of moving from the area they stayed in because they were afraid for their lives. Upon leaving they were attacked in a lane, lined with high wall compounds, by six men who didn’t believe in women’s rights and attacked them out of pure hatred. Sahar’s sister was injured, yet their friend, Benafsha, bleed to death from stab wounds.  After this, the women were then taken to prison where they had under gone virginity test and possible charges of prostitution or collusion in the attack. Because the women were “single” and living without a male relative was usual to most, so the police and neighbors thought they were running a brothel. As always, in society, any woman who is not vouched for or without a husband is judged. Yet the inequality comes in when the prosecutor claimed “the women were not attacked for being actors, they suggested the assault was prompted by their work and living arrangements”. Instead of the attackers being charged, the women are with “moral crimes”.

This problem is a global issue because as stated before women’s rights to live and have whatever occupation they want is indeed human rights period. The fact that one officer said, because the women has a lack of education they had to be prostitutes, “how could they survive”. What I took from this was that women are not and cannot be educated more then to just be considered prostitutes and its ok for them to get attacked because they refused sex. Is it not enough that these women were beaten and left for dead, but you still try to prosecute them. Once again, they are doing gender by giving the job of being a sex worker to just women. If women’s rights don’t become a global issue the men in Afghanistan will continue to pass these traditions of inequality and discrimination to their boys, the cycle will never end. Even in Kabul, it seems like once women hit that glass ceiling to education and occupation they can go no further. The women were being scolded because they were actresses on TV, doing something that they love to do. Women’s right in the middle-east has always seemed to be a social problem within the global view point for a while now. But how can we really change this?  This question bothers me and I wish I could help to come up with a solution.            

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