A Life of Torture: The Women of Afghanistan

By: Meghan Roy
Westgate CVI
Thunder Bay, ON

During the past decade, various armed factions in Afghanistan have used women as weapons of war, engaging in rape and sexual assault and forcing women into prostitution. Most armed groups have sought to establish their own cultural and political rules by imposing restrictions on women's freedom in Afghanistan. Women have been publicly harassed, intimidated and beaten for carrying out activities deemed to be "un-Islamic."

Afgan women's rights activists in Pakistan
Photo: RAWA

Over the past few weeks I have read extensively on the issue of the injustices to Afghan woman. The following is an account of one woman's experience. It is a synopsis of her story taken from several sources and not taken word for word from a particular article.

Here is her story:

As I walk down the dirt-covered street with my face and body-covered head to toe in my burqa gown. I walk along side my husband, whom I was forced to marry at age thirteen. I make sure I walked quietly so the sound of my foot steps can't be heard. I stopped and saw another woman being beaten because she made a noise while she walked. Life has been cruel and harsh for the women here, ever since that day on September 27, 1996 an extremist militia named the Taliban took over the Afghanistan government. Women have been denied the right to all freedom. The young girls are no longer aloud to attend school because the men feel they don't need to learn. According to the government these changes are about of the Islamic religion.

My husband went today to watch a Public executions which are held on Fridays in a sports stadium before an audience of thousands. I recently found out that my sister was the main show, she was killed by a slash to the throat because her husband said she stole from him. The tears I want to cry must be held back, or I may be the next attraction. The radio broadcast echoes through my ears the repeating recitations of Koranic verses, and poems in praise of Allah's law.

My life is no longer a life. I fear from day to day that I will be beaten again for something I have done or my husband will accuse me of something horrible and I will be dead. I am a slave I am dead for no one hear my cries, will there ever be salvation?

Sources: Amnesty International, Teen Magazines, as well as other website on the Women of Afghanistan.