Monday, April 13, 2009

Women's Rights Activitst Murdered in Kandahar

Sitara Achakzai, a woman with both German and Afghan citizenship had returned home in 2004 with the hope of helping rebuild her country. She was a prominent women's rights advocate, an elected official and a voice for progress in a country that sometimes seems hell bent on reliving the past. Her husband was teaching chemistry at Kandahar University, she was trying to help run a country. They both believed they could make a difference.

Kandahar is out of control, public assassination of women who dare voice their concern and their desire for society to move forward have been murdered on behalf of the Taliban. Minutes before her death Achakzai turned to a friend of hers, another female elected official and said: “I'm not afraid of death, I can go and get killed and it's no big deal.”

The sad state of affairs in Afghanistan is often downplayed in the media or at least does not have the prominent place it should seeing as we have thousands of Canadians there trying to help rebuild a country. Between the recent executions of prominent women and the newly passed (and now under revision) rape law, it seems clear that there are two forces at work here, in what seems to be a never ending tug-a-war, the progressive Afghans and those hell bent on keeping the status quo.

A friend close to Achakazi who wishes to remain anonymous was quoted as saying: “I want the world to understand how every person in this crazy place is feeling because this is a wake-up call to all of us that we could be next. The sad thing is nobody cares, it seems.” And perhaps her most poignant remark: "...this is how our country repays people. I have no faith in my government. I have no faith in the Taliban. I have no faith in the international community.”

I wish I could suggest something to help these courageous women, these progressive thinkers, but the only thing I can do from here is write about them and give them a voice from the this little blog. Trying to fix Afghanistan is kind of like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle with kids from all over holding the corner pieces. Except in this case the kids trying to bring you the corner pieces to help you finish the puzzle keep getting killed and no one does anything about it.

"I have no faith in the international community."

(source for quotes the G&M)

Muchacho Enfermo

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