Thursday, July 23, 2015

Afghanistan: Yes! Let Afghan women fight it out and come out victorious

Will the Afghan women manage in getting equality and justice for themselves if the Western powers stay on as "moral fibre" until 2024?  Maybe, maybe not.  Some women are definitely taking full advantage as they should.

From WorldMic
Meet the Badass Afghan Politician Who Ran Against Her Husband and Won

Shukria Barakzai has endured a miscarriage from Taliban attacks, a secretly polygamous husband, street beatings by extremists, an aggressive opposition campaign from that same husband and multiple assassination attempts. Just one of these would stop most normal people in their tracks.

But Barakzai is not normal people. She is a feminist politician reshaping the social and political landscape of Afghanistan.

Entering political life was not a decision she made, but rather one that her circumstances made for her, Barakzai told Mic. Understanding the role she wanted to play and the person she wanted to be in Afghan society demanded her civic participation — and civic participation demanded a confrontation of the issues she faced in her personal life.

Equal rights: While Barakzai was lobbying for women's rights, her husband, whom she described as previously being her "best friend," took a second wife without telling her. "I don't know if I should say that it was the most bad accident of my life or another wake-up call, because I was and I am against polygamy," Barakzai said. She found out about the second wife not from her husband himself, but through rumors.

At the time, she happened to be battling her male colleagues on the Constitutional Drafting Committee for equal treatment of women under the law. The irony of her personal life only added to the humiliation.

But she kept up the campaign, and when the 2005 parliamentary elections came along and women were allowed to participate, Barakzai ran for office in part to effect change for gender equality — a campaign that included the promise to outlaw misogynistic practices like polygamy. But her husband was one of many male competitors who challenged her for the parliamentary seat.

"He was a multimillionaire at that time. [He] spent half a million U.S. dollars, [with] big pollsters, and I was like a poor woman with one microphone, with a loudspeaker. I did a street campaign," Barakzai told Mic, recounting her political race a decade ago. "Even today it's not an easy job for any woman to [be using] a loudspeaker and walking on the street and asking for democracy and explaining the election and asking men and women to vote for a woman."

But it worked. .........

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