RAWA event on International Women's Day
Coverage in Pakistani media

RAWA slams warlords' attitude

DAWN, March 11, 2004

By Our Correspondent

PESHAWAR, March 10: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) has said that in the presence of fundamentalists warlords in Afghanistan no serious issue , including the freedom and prosperity of women and men, can be solved even if more ministries and commissions were created for women.

Speaking at a gathering held here on Wednesday by RAWA in connection with the International Women's Day, RAWA members said that after the US attacks and installation of the interim government, the women's banner was raised but in actuality women were still deprived of their rights and could not go to educational institutions and workplaces.

Suhaila, a RAWA member, said that the women's ministry and various commissions were created. A few women became so-called authorities but even after the passage of two years time, the women of Afghanistan had not seen any vital change for their betterment.

Maryum another RAWA member said that no change is visible in the lives of women in Afghanistan and they still feel insecure and undergo oppression. "Out of extreme suffocation and terror in Herat which is in the grip of Ismail Khan, hundreds of girls and women have committed suicide by self-immolation in less than a year to free themselves of the freedom-killing regime", Shehla another Afghan woman said.

The speakers also criticized the fake nature of the constitutional Loya Jirga and freedom of speech in Afghanistan as it was visible from the cheap remarks of some of the members in the assembly on the women delegates, Malalai Joya and Anarkali who had the courage to call the fundamentalists 'criminals' and called for their national and international trials.

The speakers criticized the members of Loya Jirga for its infection with the germs of the fundamentalism and said that the constitution had not abolished the various crimes against women in the name of religion and tradition.

Peace impossible in warlord's presence
Women commission can't solve problem: RAWA

The Nation , March 11, 2004

The Revolutionary association Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) alleged that despite tall claim made by the United States and civilized world, 99 percent women of Afghanistan have not seen any change.

The warlords and their gun-totting loyal who have deprived the women of their just rights during the era of former communists, Mujahideen and Taliban regimes, ate still holding key offices in the transitional government, it remarked through a declaration adopted at a meeting held at Peshawar on Wednesday.

The resolution further states: "out of extreme suffocation and terror in Herat, grabbed in the grip of amir Ismael Khan, hundreds of girls and women have committed suicide by self-immolation in less than a year to free themselves from a painful life under the dagger of a corrupt and freedom-killing regime.

The meeting was arranged in connection with the International Women day here which besides a large number of RAWA activists from all over Peshawar and its surrounding areas was also attended by their like-minded male colleagues from a number of local and Afghan socio-politico groups.

A group of Italian women have also attended the fathering. Besides listening to detail speeches on past and present of Afghanistan the participants were also entertained with sketches where as the RAWA activists have highlighted the modus operandi adopted the western and Arab world with collaboration of Pakistan for destruction of Afghanistan.

Besides a number of RAWA stalwarts included Ms Marina, the selected gathering of civilized educated and politically aware Afghan women and girls was also addressed by Ms Francesca Maria Poli from Italy, Afzal Khamoosh of Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party, women rightists Mrs Zahira Khattak of Pushto Congress.

The speakers in their detailed speeches endorsed the RAWA stance on ensuring return of peace and stability in war-stricken Afghanistan, which is possible through dislodging of warlords and their gun-totting loyals in each and every corner of that country. Unless dislodging of warlords and their gun-totting loyals, it seems impossible for the international community to see peace and stable Afghanistan, they emphasized.

The RAWA resolution maintains, despite the above dreadful realities if talking about Afghanistan is confined only to abuse of women then in fact it is throwing dust into the eyes of the world.

Regardless of the multitude of oppressions against women, men are also not free. If the Taliban are not in charge their jehadi brethren the Northern Alliance embrace the power in the country. Hence if all these atrocities and disasters, i.e. the presence of fundamentalist warlords are not rooted out from Afghanistan no serious issues, including freedom and prosperity of women and men, can be solved even if more ministries and commissions are created for women. The freedom of a nation is to be achieved by itself similarly the real emancipation of women can be realized only by themselves. If that freedom id bestowed by others it may be realized and violated any time.

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