Women In Afghanistan Given Shelter, Now It Could Be Taken From Them

Target: President Barack Obama; U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

Goal: Protect abused and persecuted women in Afghanistan by keeping women’s shelters under private control.

Each day women in Afghanistan are in fear for their lives, and for the lives of their children. These are not women who have committed any atrocious act or heinous crime. They are abused by their families and often times placed into a women’s prison simply for being a woman.

Under Islamic law women are tried and committed to prison for acts such as running away from home, loving another person who is not their betrothed, or not submitting to rape. Under the oppression laws signed into effect by President Karzai in 2009, women are forbidden to leave their homes unless they have a legitimate reason. Most times they are required to have a member of their immediate family, who is male, present. They are forced to wear heavy body coverings, known as burqas, which allow little ventilation even in the hottest months. If these are not worn, they are subject to beatings as well. Unless they are deathly ill, they are subject to the sexual whims of their husbands-even when forced.

Such was the case of a 10 year-old girl and her mother who fled their family home just outside of Kabul-the capital of Afghanistan. The mother was a divorcee (which is looked down upon according to Islamic law) and was married a second time. The husband (and step-father) would beat the mother and the young girl and deny them food-simply for being women. The young girl was then almost forced to submit to rape by her step-father, but managed to get away from him just in time. She and her mother fled to a safe house.

Several international groups have founded safe houses for these women to go to in times of great fear. They are given a sanctuary when others would turn them away or beat them for their transgressions. Individuals and groups in other countries see these actions for what they are-barbaric. They want to see the women and their children have a safe place to heal and regroup. The homes are a necessity as rape and beatings are acceptable forms of punishment in many traditional Afghan families-despite the constant presence of United States forces since 9/11.

Now the Afghanistan government wants to take control of these sanctuaries.  They claim it would make the shelters safer, legal, and better organized. However, there are several faults in this thinking. To allow the government ownership of every safe house means it would fall under Islamic law and as such no longer be a safe environment. Right now, one of the advantages these shelters have is the right to deny any member of a family access to the women and the children taking refuge there. Shelters would be pointless if they were government run-as Islamic law allows for every action a woman is seeking shelter from.

Ask President Obama to continue to be a voice for the Afghan woman. Request both he and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton have a meeting with President Karzai and come to an arrangement to save the lives of the women and children that will die everyday, if they are refused a legitimate sanctuary.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Obama and Secretary Clinton,

Everyday while U.S. troops are still a presence in Afghanistan many brutal and atrocious crimes are taking place. Women and children are starved, beaten, and raped, simply for being who they are.

Women are thrown into prison for running away from home, not submitting to rape, or leaving their homes for any reason. Although no longer under Taliban rule, they are still forced to comply with similar laws, such as those set forth by President Karzai in 2009. Many traditional Afghan families follow the old law and see the beatings and rape as a just due to women and children.

As I am sure you are aware, there are many individuals and groups in different countries who have pledged their support to the Afghan women and their basic human rights. The Afghan government now wants to seize control of all these safe houses and bring them under government rule. To do so would be to place them under Islamic law. Placing the shelters under Islamic law would mean these women and children would have zero sanctuary. Islamic law allows for every inhumane action from which these women are attempting to escape.

Please continue to be voice and presence for these women. They are counting on the U.S. to support them while they attempt to form a stronger and more united front. Speak with President Karzai and help him to see, the safe houses are not there to undermine the Afghan government. They are there simply to protect the greatest asset of their country, its population.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Will Go Here]

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2 Comments

  1. Sandra Dominy says:

    I wish their men weren’t so paranoid so all of the Muslim women could get rid of their “coverings”

  2. How much longer will the world turn a blind eye on the
    plight of women in Afghanistan?

    Pause for a moment – would YOU feel good about the women in your life, mother, sister, wife, daughter etc. being treated like hunted animals?

    NOW IS THE TIME TO DO SOMETHING!!

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