26 September 2006

A death in Kandahar

Safia Amajan the chief of the Woman’s Affairs department in Kandahar, had devoted the last five years of her life to improving women’s rights and opportunities for education and vocational training. Yesterday she was gunned down outside her home.

Ms Amajan had taken over the post of women's welfare officer soon after the fall of the Taliban. With the return of the Taliban, aid workers were intimidated into leaving the region but Ms Amajan was one of the few who refused to flee. Ms Amajan had asked for, and been refused, a protective vehicle, or bodyguards, despite repeated death threats. She was in a taxi when two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire. A Taliban commander, Mullah Hayat Khan, declared that Ms Amajan had been "executed". He said: "We have told people again and again that anyone working for the government, and that includes women, will be killed."

Ms Amajan's funeral yesterday was attended by the provincial governor and hundreds of mourners, including tribal elders. In Kabul, President Karzai said: "The enemies of Afghanistan are trying to kill those people who are working for the peace and prosperity of Afghanistan. The enemies of Afghanistan must understand that we have millions of people like Amajan." Fariba Ahmedi, a female member of parliament, who attended the burial, said: "Those enemies who have killed her should know it will not derail women from the path we are on. We will continue on our way.”

Human rights groups point out, that the battle for women's rights is in serious danger of being lost. There are now entire provinces where there is no girls' education; of the 300 schools shut or burnt down, the majority were for girls. The death rate at childbirth is the second highest in the world, and the number of women who have committed suicide, mainly through self-immolation, has risen by 30 per cent in two years.



7 comments:

elasticwaistbandlady said...

What an amazing woman! I wish the feminists here would stop fighting for the rights of women to kill their unborn baby and instead focus on more worthy causes like those championed by Ms. Amajan.

jams o donnell said...

The situation for Afghan women is getting worse again. To lose someone like her is a major loss. As far as I am concerned the Taliban are scum.

Redwine said...

Elecrticwaistbandlady, "fighting for the rights of women to kill their unborn baby" - abortion should be avoided, yes. In my opinion, for several reasons, and it is better not to get there. yet, it should be an option, I think. Many are not as much pro-abortion, as pro-the right to have this option, methinks.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

My opinion stems from the tendency of feminists here to develop acute tunnel vision, only focusing on abortion when there are so many other concerns they could devote themselves to. Another problem stems from so many not being able to think beyond their own radical man hating agendas. They don't look at society as man and woman working together, but instead as Man in the role of oppressor and Woman always in the role of victim. We're not talking about suffragettes like in the days of old.

jams o donnell said...

Abortion is not an option that many will take lighthly. While I may eesentially be pro choice it is with a lot of reluctance. At the very, very least I would prefer legal abortions to teh back street abortionists. Not that there aren't other options of course... Contraception, adoption proper sex education that includes the message that "it is alright to say no" and "no means no!

Redwine said...

EW, Jams: I worked for a foundation dealing mostly with domestic abuse for years. EW is right about victim feminism though. One of the problems of the foundation was that wymin themsleves don;t really apprecizate aggressive feminism. Anyway, wherever abortion is banned, back street abortion becomes the big business. Banning abortion lead to 20,000 kidney failures (see backstreet doctors) only in 88-89 here. Education always failed in this respect: because abrotion, as it is, is extremley shocking and traumatizing, even if performed under ideal circumstances.

Redwine said...

appreciate*