I am going to write an article for a slogan called “Stand with women in Afghanistan” which has been inviting social media pages to support Afghan women since two days ago. I thought it is better to include the views of some women rights activists and defenders in this report. The protest stages somewhere that moral, rationality, equality, and justice have been violated and some people are making demands. Protest is a civilization and cultural way to demand social justice. Human history is explained by the protest which is grounded in human thought. But the point to be made is about social justice and its connection to the issue of protest. Can civil protests lead to social justice and equality in societies like Afghanistan?
The protests of Afghan women are considered very important for building a democratic society based on social justice, and it is recognized that these protests are a symbol of life; protests should be held, we should walk out to the streets, shout and even sacrifice for justice, if necessary. Unless history will not remember the people and the nation who did not protest. That is why protest can be a solution to solve political and social issues.
” After the arrest of women protesters and the increase of violence against women by the Taliban, women’s protest movements in public decreased and replaced with indoor protests. Women have a long way to go to achieve their rights and to achieve success and effective solutions, it is necessary for Afghan women not to be forgotten and for these fights to continue at a wider level in other communities, so launching this campaign will be helpful. Many people from different countries, genders, ages, and nationalities joined the campaign in a few days.” Ms. Zahra Sadat Jafari said.
Some people were not aware of Afghan women’s situation but fortunately, they were informed after this campaign. We will gain more support for the defense of Afghan women’s rights this way. For the effectiveness of the struggles, groups with the same aim seek to provide solutions and achieve more notable results. This path will continue, also the other effects of these campaigns are to create a positive attitude, motivation, hope, and even self-confidence for women and girls who are in the worst mental condition on the geographical border of Afghanistan.
As I am writing this article, six months have passed since the fall of Kabul. It is better to say six months of protests by Afghan women, six months of petitions for Bread, Work, and Freedom. This period is never a short time, it is a great revolution in the way it is organized, shaped, and sustained, especially in a society that still lives and is governed by a tribal system. Comprehending society is the most important feature of protest movements. Civil society is derived from the two words “society” meaning living together and “civil” meaning the city. Thus, civil society means group life and urbanization. In contrast, there is the “Nomadic community,” that is, the primitive life of mankind, which used to move periodically and is not yet accustomed to urbanization and house-building. Today’s example of the primitive people is the Taliban, who lived in the mountains and rushed to the cities overnight, demanding urbanization and sovereignty.
Ms. Maleka Ghasemi spoke about the way of the protests: “My opinion about the protests of women in Afghanistan and abroad against the Taliban and to achieve their rights is that women have been deprived of their rights to education, work which are basic rights since the fall of the republic and rise of the Taliban. At first, everyone thought that no one dare to stand against the Taliban.
Fortunately, Afghan women with political awareness and intellectual maturity broke this silence and stood up to the tyranny and misogyny of the Taliban, raising their voices for freedom, equality, and rights from each street of Afghanistan. Women who migrated outside Afghanistan and were forced to leave their homeland somehow supported the voice of women protesting inside Afghanistan.
The women of Afghanistan have proved that their twenty years of effort have not been wasted and that they have achieved great intellectual growth and maturity, and today they have no fear of the tyranny of the Taliban. They risked their lives and protested against the Taliban. We saw that they were beaten and tortured by the Taliban in the streets, but they did not give up. The Taliban abducted and detained women, and even large numbers of women are kept in an unidentified place and their fate is unknown. But the Taliban could not make women silent, the women protested inside houses in Kabul in different ways to achieve their demands.
The recent campaign “Stand with women in Afghanistan” has fortunately expanded infinitely in the last two days, and the people of the world, along with the women of Afghanistan, have joined the campaign and are using this hashtag. Especially the men of Afghanistan who used to be silent but now cooperated with women in this field. Well, there is no expectation in the situation in Afghanistan, when the Taliban suppress women, the men situation is worst. The hashtag they set up is a good way to protest. Anyone, anywhere in their home, from near and far, can join the women protesters in Afghanistan for their rights. Certainly, the point is that not only women’s rights are violated here, but all people of Afghanistan are threatened and tyrannized by the Taliban.
We have seen that many men, for various reasons, such as being artists or belonging to a certain ethnicity, province, or language, have been captured and killed. It is wrong if we say that only women are deprived, all people of Afghanistan are deprived and hostages, they are threatened, no one dares to speak out because the Taliban commit any kind of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. All Afghans are currently in a bad situation and there is an urgent need for everyone to speak out with Afghan women. The slogan is very clear, transparent, and inclusive: Bread, Work, and Freedom.
All people of Afghanistan are vulnerable in the current situation, all have been deprived of their jobs because of their ethnicity, language, gender, and for various reasons, all suffer from poverty, and all have been deprived of their liberty. So everyone must stand against oppression, tyranny, and barbarism with the slogan of unity and solidarity. One of the reasons this hashtag has become so widespread is that since the Taliban occupied Kabul, they committed anti_feminist and inhumane treatment, proving to the world that this group is not interactive and incapable of meeting the needs of the present age and cannot govern. That is why some of those who have joined the campaign are non-Afghans from all over the world. Because the Taliban introduced themselves to the world through their actions and made it clear who they were. Now the people of the world can recognize the true face of the Taliban terrorist group.
From a political point of view, protest is fundamentally questioned and challenged because it targets power and the base of power, and this is purely political. Each movement can have its theory, such as the theory of writing on the palm of the hand to support women and to engage the people of the world with political thinking and the theory of protest.
Ms. Omolbanin Khawari, one of the women activists, says: This is a campaign to support Afghan women. Women who walk out to the streets with the slogans of Bread, Work, and Freedom. They want bread, they want work and they want freedom. But the Taliban imprisoned them, silenced them, tortured them, and put the rest in house arrests that they could not even leave their homes. So, this time, we decided to launch this campaign together, on social networks, and We wanted all those who agree with the demands of Afghan women to be with us and support us. Fortunately, people across the world supported us, and we hope that the women who are in prison will be released.
In the West, after the overthrow of the Church which was a kind of tyranny in the guise of religion and the tendency towards democracy and secularization, civil society found a new interpretation. But today, the protests of Afghan women, with the slogan Bread, Work, and Freedom, are in fact, a confrontation with the religious reactionary rule, with the understanding that Afghan women have been victims of patriarchal and authoritarian religious regimes for hundreds of years.
Another protester is Ms. Taranom Saeedi, who points out that some German and French filmmakers shared the campaign idea with Ms. Sahraa Mani. It was decided that because of the anti-woman problems and laws that are currently prevailing in Afghanistan and we can not have public and street demonstrations and women are deprived of all facilities for physical struggle, they can write their slogans with a pen in the palm of their hand and keep their hands in front of their faces, and this is a sign that we are protesting, and their faces will not be revealed, and the women who are currently in Afghanistan will not be endangered.
Fortunately, it was welcomed and quickly spread on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and people from all over the world who felt the pain of Afghan women joined us and took part in the campaign. Our goal is to raise the voice of Afghan women to the world, to the United Nations, to the countries that brought the Taliban to Afghanistan and are not taking any action; Just for their benefit. Our goal is to raise the voice of Afghan women to these powers and countries and say that if they have a sense of humanity should address the plight of Afghan women and not legitimize the Taliban. This process of struggle continues until victory and liberation from the rule of terrorists.
From the point of view of philosophy, civil society is based on reason, thought, and wisdom, and from another point of view, civil society is its legal concept, meaning that the law governs individual and social relations. The institutionalization of law in society is a necessary thing, and in principle, a society without the rule of law causes chaos. One of the most important characteristics of civil society is the institutionalization of law in society. Where in Afghanistan is the law observed now? Is Afghan society a religious society or a civil society? This is a question that will come to our minds.
“A few months ago, with the beginning of the cold season in Afghanistan, A few of the filmmakers and I decided to send some food to Afghanistan. When we were dealing with humanitarian issues, unfortunately, some of the women protesters in Afghanistan were arrested and the Taliban hid it and no one knew about their situation, the situation was and is very worrying. The Taliban thought the arrest of the protesting women was the end of women’s protests on the streets of Kabul and other Afghanistan cities. When this happened, we thought we should launch an all-inclusive conference or campaign in which other women and men join us and stand up for human rights and freedoms.” Ms. Sahraa Mani told Nimrokh.
With this campaign, we want to continue the demands of the protesting women in Afghanistan: Bread, Work, and Freedom. To show that if the Taliban can silence women on the streets of Kabul, their voices will be heard more widely elsewhere. This campaign does not belong to any particular person, it belongs to all free men and women, to all those who do not want a woman, man, or child to be tortured and threatened by Taliban terrorists anywhere in our world.
We will continue the campaign until the day when the protesting women in Afghanistan get what they want, and more importantly, the Taliban must stop harassing and abducting women and freeing the women they have detained. Women must be allowed to freely have their desires and fight for a better tomorrow. We continue the protest of Kabul women. If the next time a woman’s corpse is found somewhere in Afghanistan, it is the direct responsibility of the Taliban, because they claim to have taken over the government, so they must be responsible for saving the lives of the people. We see in the news every day that a woman was killed with her two children, the corpse of a woman was found in Kandahar, and no one accepts responsibility for this. Next, we try to get in touch with some German filmmakers and German politicians and make our demands.
What was said in the friends’ speech contains a selective objection? From the continuation of the protests to the victory, which is the elimination of the Taliban and the establishment of peace, stability, and security for all members of Afghan society. What constitutes the demands of the protesters and the people of Afghanistan is the existence of a society based on wisdom, prudence, and rationality. Humanity, compassion, tolerance, respect for each other’s rights is the basic principle of life, everyone conveys this message, the Taliban should never imagine a government, because women are now protesting with thought, and in this way, the world support them.
Translated by: Jahan Raha