To mark the international day for the elimination of violence against women, I’m delighted to welcome this week Wazhma Frogh as a guest blogger.
The court was full of journalists, women organizations, students of the law faculty and some members of the parliament witnessing the public trial of four armed men who were accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in Kunduz.
The armed men chained & in prison uniforms on one side of the court and Lal Bibi and her father yelling and recalling the ordeal.
The public trial was an outcome of months of struggles to work with the Afghan judiciary and courts to get justice to the victims that the Afghan Constitution has promised all its citizens.
As an Afghan who has seen the ups and down of the country in the past 30 years – for a moment I was in tears. But this time, the tears of happiness and hope that while 11 years back we had a government that considered women second grade human being and a woman couldn’t even enter a court seeking justice, today we women activists are able to fight our battles with the judiciary system and courts.
Past 11 years have been years of change for a generation that all they remember is the 40 years of turmoil and power struggle at the gunpoint. With the support of the international friends, Afghans of my generation went to polls for the first time in 2004 and for the second time in 2009.
Dealing with the legacies of the war of 40 years might take another 40 years at least, and if the current generation are empowered and the women of this country have access to justice and other rights- they will be the ambassadors of change for their coming generations.
The 16 days of activism to combat violence against women commencing on the 25 November is an important reminder for the struggle of women like myself in Afghanistan that we are not alone in this battle and have the solidarity of international friends . We have a long way to go but have started the path.