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Why Does Afghanistan Hate Women?

Updated on March 20, 2011

Women's Shelters

Does Afghanistan hate women that much? There is seldom any good news coming from Afghanistan about its women. In that country, they are the most oppressed and always the target of hate crimes only second to Westerner's. They are the dirt of that society despite them claiming to be in a "Islamic protected and revered" status.

While the status of women has improved with the influence of Western culture, the resistance within the men of that country continues, soaked in traditional behavior, women are still forced to do things they do not want to do because a "man" told them to. For instance, take Sabul, an 18 yr old teenager who refused to marry a 52 yr. old man who had five kids. Sabul's parents disowned her, kicked her out of their home and she ended up on Kabul. There, she slept on the streets, begged for food, took refuse in a mosque until a Western aid worker rescued her and took her to a nearby women's shelter. The Kabul adventure, for Sabul, was terrifying for she had never ventured any further than the corner bazaar where she lived all her life. Many girls and teenagers end up like Sabul. Despite their "revered" status as claimed in this Muslim country, they are raped, beaten, imprisoned, burned, for simply defying what a "man" tells them or what their family wants.

Women's shelters in Afghanistan began with the arrival of Western Human Right agencies and now 14 exist in Kabul. They are there to provide a safe refuge from the cruel ways of Islamic law and life. Afghanistan women have generally embraced them as their way out of religious hell. Rightly so, but many men in Afghanistan feel they subvert their way way of life because they encourage women to be bold and leave situations they hate and go to a shelter. It is a clash between Afghanistan culture and the modern world. Some men think they are also brothels. Like parents and their children, they view the same thing or incident entirely different based on their reality and feelings.

Take the case of Bibi Aisha, a child bride whose nose was hacked off by her husband after she was caught trying to flee from home. We know about her because a photographer from Time took a photo that was on the cover of Time magazine last year while Bibi was at the Afghanistan Women's shelter. This greatly embarrassed the Afghan government and how the world see's its society.

Since then, President Karzai and  Mullah Netatullah Sharani, a leading figure, has revised the rules of the Women shelters by having the government now run them and under their control and they decide who will be admitted. Prior to this, the Western agency that funded a refuge, operated and controlled it. Now, in cases like Sabra, she would have to appear in front of a panel of men to justify her being at the refuge. She could face being sent back home, where she would be whacked with a stick or worse (like Bibi), sent to jail or allowed to stay at the center. Worse, she has to go under a physical exam to prove she is still a virgin!

President Karzai is doing this because he is trying to appease the Taliban that he is fighting and to show that he is a true Afghani. Hate crimes against women still are rampant in the areas outside of cities and they go either unpunished or they approved like, public floggings, mutilation of women, girls forced into marriage at age 12, stonings.

Part of the crackdown on women's shelters is that the 11 registered shelters spend $11 million and took care of only 210 women.  That alone was a red flag for a country famous for bribes and corruption. It is the financial issue that now has changed life for the worse in a country that hates women.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      Nice, Maureen!

    • profile image

      Maureen 6 years ago

      Keep sticking your head in the sand, Robert. As long as the social and political injustice isn't affecting you, you obviously couldn't give a rip! As Edmund Burke once wisely said "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".

    • profile image

      Robert 7 years ago

      Afghanistan is a country, a geographic bit of land. Islam is a religion. So the title statement is very twisted anthropomorphic garbage intended on in sighting hatred. Land & religions do not feel anything towards anyone.

      The people of a different country, of a different religion, are very different (obviously) than the writer's. They have a different history & culture which is as valid as ours in the west. There is this huge borderline psychotic personality disordered thinking these days were boundaries (geographic, cultural, political, religious, cognitive) are ignored. The nanny state gone global.

      Obviously the Afgani's get married, live together, grow old. They have for a very long time. That entire culture is separate & distinct from the writer who operates with out respect for other people. It would be right (moral) & correct (logical) to tell the writer to mind their own business.

      Me, I am a white, middle-aged, 3rd generation Canadian of European decent. I have Muslim friends & acquaintances in my own country. What goes on on the other side of the planet is none of my business, whether I agree with it or not.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      Ismaiel is either in denial, a radical muslim or idiot, because the story was in the NY times and is true. Afghanistan is not worth much. Karzai is a crooked leader and will eventually be devoured by the Taliban. Since Karzai wants the US out, we should leave.

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      Ismaiel 7 years ago

      It is a fucking bullshit story you made to make some money. No one kick the women out of house if they hate it they will behead it and this is a crap story no fucking shelter organization is in Afghanistan to support women just the GEP Ministry of women Affairs.

      She must have been a prostitute like you who made a story

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      I agree with all of you, but Afghanistan will never be free of the extreme conservative culture.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      These are the ones the US should be bringing in to help, what a disgrace any race would belittle their mothers and daughters just for being female, whoever they are, they are real idiots. I bet it doesn't stop them from letting the woman take care of them totally. And whoever emails me about this I will know are the guilty....

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      Musafir In Training 7 years ago

      Agreed with Safiq. The ill treatment of women has nothing to do with islam, and isn't just in Afghanistan but a world wide problem. People who use the Qur'an to justify the treatment of their wives are ignorant, for lack of a nicer word. Pre-Islamic tribal traditions that people try to keep alive are one thing and religion is another. Most of these unfortunate occurrences where men beat women is because of cultural traditional law and has nothing to do with Islam. The challenge here is to get people educated about what the Islamic religion/culture is really about and how to separate it from specific cultural traditions. It's really sad to see people butcher and abuse Islamic teachings for their own justifications or personal gain.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago

      Great insight! I agree with you. Many Muslims state that women are treated this way because they are pure and such, but, I think they are justifying their behavior by citing the Koran.

    • safiq ali patel profile image

      safiq ali patel 7 years ago from United States Of America

      I'm note sure that I can answer this question much. Overall the muslim world does not hold women very highly. They use the quraan to justify the horrible treatment of women in Afganistan. However some Scholors and Academics who have studied the quraan say that this teaching is wrong and that the quraan calls on all people to respect women, and that the quraan tells people a woman is the bearer of life and that her fertility makes her sacred. Perphaps the harted of women in muslim countries is based on local custom and culture and is born of radical islam rather than real Islam. Also in some muslim countries may the hate for females comes from political sources. The Islamic faith will often be used to justify the hatred of women but but islam in its purest form is against the cruel and ill treatment of women. The horrible treatment of women in Afganistan and other parts of the muslim world needs to be seriously challenged. I hope Perrya that this comment helps. Regards from safiq.