Plight of women in Afghanistan
12:01pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in Letters
I would like to draw the attention of your readers to the plight of women in Afghanistan at the present time. I belong to Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire Amnesty International group and we are writing directly to Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai asking him to ensure the protection of women in his country from attacks by the Taliban and other groups.
It might be out of the news compared to Syria, but we should not forget that the situation in Afghanistan is still far from peaceful. We’re now little more than a year away from the withdrawal of British and other international troops from Afghanistan, yet the country is still regularly rocked by violence. One group particularly bearing the brunt of violence are Afghan women and girls. The Taliban and other armed groups appear to be stepping up attacks on prominent Afghan women, in the past few months alone we’ve seen two senior women police officers murdered, two women MPs attacked, and a much-admired writer who chronicled abuse by the Taliban shot dead outside her home.
Our group is writing to Hamid Karzai calling on him to ensure that Afghanistan’s brave women’s rights activists are protected and assisted in their work. We are also writing to our MPs urging them to support the campaign mounted by Amnesty International, including by pressing our own government for details on how they are assisting women in Afghanistan, a ‘strategic priority’, according to Justine Greening MP in March this year. Our local Amnesty group is participating in a national project to make a decorative patchwork quilt, with messages of solidarity and support, which will eventually be displayed in the women’s shelters in Afghanistan. Anyone else who would like to contribute to this patchwork is welcome to contact us for details. Politicians have repeatedly said they won’t ‘cut and run’ from Afghanistan and will go on supporting a nation that has been through more than its fair share of suffering. The coming months will be a crucial test of that pledge. Readers can find out more about Amnestys work on Afghanistan, at amnesty.org.uk/afghanistan.
Member of Ceredigion and North Pembs Amnesty Group