Here in the United States, we have many passionate activists and who speak out on a wide range of topics, from education, to the way the government and police force treats African Americans, to the state of women’s rights in our society
Unfortunately, other countries are not so fortunate in their freedom of speech and their citizens are often unjustly punished. On March 19, 2015, an Afghan woman by the name Farkhunda was brutally beaten, thrown off a rooftop, run over, and set on fire and thrown in the Kabul River in Afghanistan, killing her. The mob attacked her for allegedly burning the Holy Quran. Many people learned of this atrocity through social media. Many people in Afghanistan believe this attack shows just how preoccupied the soldiers and police officers are with fighting the Taliban. With no help from law enforcement Farkhunda was killed over a false accusation.
In Afghanistan, men traditionally are pallbearers, but in this case the women’s rights activists of Afghanistan carried the coffin of 27-year old Farkhunda. According to a report in the Washington Post, they did so while chanting “Farkhunda is a daughter of Afghanistan. Today it is her, tomorrow it could be us.”
In Afghanistan it is not uncommon for women to be beaten or treated unfairly. Without out a voice or much authority the crimes against women usually go unpunished. President Ashraf Ghani was elected last year, and has already made such a huge impact in the Women’s rights world. His wife has spoken on many occasions about women’s rights in Afghanistan. However there is still much that is hidden to the public.
Women are beaten by their husbands day after day. According to a report in DW some choose to run away while others see only one option. Suicide. Hamila is a 22-year-old women who has scars and wounds from her husband’s’ beatings. One day she decided to run away from her forced marriage.
As I was reading articles on all of the terrible things that happen to the women of Afghanistan all I could think was why has this not been something more talked about or helped. We will occasionally hear the big stories like Farkhunda but it leaves you to wonder how many other things similar to this incident and the incident of Halima occur everyday?
We have a voice, we have the opportunity to help by voicing our opinions and bringing awareness to the situation in Afghanistan. We are fortunate enough to leave such situations with our lives still intact. The women of Afghanistan do not. They live everyday below men with fear of being beaten. Sometimes the only option that brings them peace is death.