by Sonya Yoshiki, a volunteer activist against rape, especially in Asian nations.
RINJ Points to Afghanistan and Valid Frustration In Outcome For Women
Women in Afghanistan have not been so positively impacted despite the huge loss of Canadian lives fighting in that country.
There is frustration at troops fighting to uphold civil rights in Afghanistan at a grave cost in life and taxpayers money without any significant gain for women other than the fact they are no longer slaughtered publicly in the sports stadiums.
The iconic images of women throwing off their burqas after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 were always a fiction. Except among a small elite in Kabul, the overwhelming majority of women in Afghanistan are still forced to cover their entire bodies and faces.
Researchers find that very little has changed in Afghanistan. Between 60 and 80 per cent of all marriages in Afghanistan are forced. As many as 57 per cent of girls are married off below the age of 16, some as young as six. Because of the custom of paying a bride price, marriage is essentially a financial transaction, and girls a commodity.
The custom of baad, when girls and women are exchanged to settle debts and disputes, is still widely practised. The women are not treated as proper wives, but in effect are slave workers and chattels for and of their husbands.
Honour killing is also still widespread. Women are killed for dishonouring their families through “crimes” such as “being raped”. A family member kills the woman.
RINJ Campaign is an international organization headquartered in Toronto and founded by persons in Canada, Britain and Australia.