The Afghanistan Socialist Association (ASA) issued this greeting on the occasion of International Women’s Day, 2009. The ASA’s fight on behalf of the Afghan people is a difficult one; its members have been jailed by the Karzai regime for protesting civilian deaths by U.S. military forces, and one of the teachers at an ASA school that includes girls was murdered by the Taliban.
On International Women’s Day the U.S./NATO-installed regime in the capital, Kabul, inaugurated a women’s prison in Jawzjan province as a gift to the women of Afghanistan.
Afghan president Karzai and his imperialist supporters shamelessly talk about improving women’s situation, but the United Nations and Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission express deep concern over human rights — and especially women’s rights — in Afghanistan.
In order to look like a defender of democratic and women’s rights, the puppet regime set up a symbolic ministry of women and positioned some token women in parliament and government positions. But this administration has never genuinely represented Afghan women. Over the last seven years, millions of women’s lives have deteriorated, on many fronts even more than during the Taliban rule. No amount of government-sponsored “celebrations” on March 8 can reverse this truth.
The Karzai regime is composed mainly of Northern Alliance collaborators — Islamic fundamentalists such as Sayaf, Rabani, Khalili, Mohaqiq, Qanoni, Fahim, Abdullah. … During the Taliban repression from 1992 to 1996, they performed as enforcers, implementing strict Sharia law and committing heinous crimes against women.
The people of Afghanistan, especially women, expected the “international community” and the “peace angels” to put all these anti-women, criminal gangs on trial after the invasion in 2001. Instead, the occupation-approved government rewarded them with key positions in the new government. These high-ranking elements in Kabul never believed in women’s rights or in womenfolk as human beings.
The so-called “civil society” organizations and NGOs that claim to need money for the restoration of women’s rights are, in fact, deceiving the Afghan people and the world. They are not helping Afghan women.
Women’s true conditions. In Afghanistan today, women have no access to health facilities and can get no justice through the corrupt judicial system. The rate of illiteracy and mental disease is extremely high among women. Poverty, unemployment and high prices of basic items force many women to beg, prostitute themselves, and even to sell their children and commit suicide. Rape, abduction and sexual abuse of women and girls — even by police and NATO troops — is a general and bitter fact rarely mentioned in the media.
Fawzai Kofi, a female member of the Parliament publicized the hidden truth about forced pregnancy and sexual abuse of female prisoners in Policharkhi jail by Afghan police in early 2008. The same news was reported from other prisons such as Lashkargah.
Afghan girls are raped by NATO troops during their operations and home searches, especially in the Southern provinces. A 12 year- old girl was attacked by these troops in Jan. 2009, as her parents threatened to commit suicide if they were not given justice. In Afghanistan many families, because of their culture and place in society, never disclose or publicly condemn sexual abuse of their family members.
At the end of 2008, U.S. troops invaded a home in Khost province. In addition to killing the male members of the family, the troops madly let loose wild dogs on the children and women to bite and kill them. Yes, these are just some examples of the real conditions for Afghan women. They are the product of backward, medieval women-hating practices, re-enforced by modern imperialism. The military occupation’s pretense of bringing “women’s rights, peace, democracy, and civil society” to Afghanistan is an insult and a gigantic lie!
The Afghanistan Socialist Association believes that to expect imperialists to respect and restore women’s rights in our country is a pipe dream. The United States and NATO countries have sought their own strategic and economic benefits in the region from the beginning. They can simply ignore and suppress any law, moral value and human rights standard or commitment for the sake of their own dirty interests. The atrocities against women by the reactionary Northern Alliance in Karzai’s regime during the last seven years prove it. So does the government’s inclination to negotiate with the Taliban.
Call for solidarity! ASA calls on all progressive women and organizations in Afghanistan and around the world to stand against the U.S./NATO occupation, and to oppose Karzai’s, anti-women, anti-secular regime. Based on the new constitution, it is trying to introduce Islamic law against the women and progressive forces of Afghanistan.
We expect all progressive and women’s rights organizations not to be taken in by the colorful promises and dishonest IWD celebrations of Afghanistan’s current regime and its imperialist masters.
• An end to the U.S./NATO military occupation and their anti-women, anti-secular regime in Afghanistan!
• Long live solidarity between the oppressed and impoverished women of Afghanistan and progressive women around the world!
• Long live March 8th, and the struggle for freedom, equality and the rights of women!