On this International Women’s Day, The Feminist Majority Foundation honors Afghan women and girls in their struggle for human rights and equality. Despite the unprecedented threats and increasing assassinations of Afghan women leaders of all ages, Afghan women with much strength and courage, have continued to fight for their human rights and a future in which they are treated equally.
During the so-called Afghan government-Taliban peace talks one of the issues up for negotiation are the human rights of Afghan women and whether or not the constitution of Afghanistan be amended, and the guarantee of equal rights for women be removed. Afghan women leaders and workers have been threatened, many forced to leave their jobs for their own security, and some have been killed in targeted terrorist attacks over the past year while the peace talks are ongoing.
“This is unacceptable. The human rights of women should never be up for negotiation and must not be jeopardized in the current talks. We applaud both Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Advisor Dan Sullivan on their recent comments emphasizing the importance of human rights and especially women’s rights in the peace talks. Women’s rights, peace, and security are not in conflict. Rather, women’s rights and participation in the peace process substantially enhances the probability of success,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
“From my many conversations with the Afghan women leaders and women’s groups, it has been clear that they want to preserve their democracy, their republic and the constitution that guarantees Afghan women equal rights. We commend the courage of everyday Afghan women and girls going to work and school and taking risks in the pursuit of equality,” continued Smeal.
Afghan women leaders have been fighting for their basic human rights for decades. In spite of the challenges, they continue to persevere in their quest for equal human rights. Their leadership serves as a model for women around the world.