This week we will observe International Peace Day – when wars are getting wider in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Armenia, Palestinian, and many more countries are flooded, many others are facing hunger and unrest and so many more face different kinds of problems. Here I want to amplify the voices of 17 million Afghan girls and women who are experiencing an extremely unique dilemma in human history. Currently, women and girls in Afghanistan are deprived of their fundamental rights to education, employment, and social and political rights.
The crimes and injustices that are taking place in Afghanistan are unforgivable. Many Afghans are scattered and dispersed in every part of the world; Afghanistan and her people are more fragmented than before and are facing bureaucratic refugee and resettlement policies, while our beloveds are left behind in the face of strict inhumane rules, vulnerable to physical danger and financial insecurities.
Afghanistan has become a juxtaposition; we see that there are natural disasters in some parts of Afghanistan, while all of Afghanistan is exposed to a large man-made catastrophe. In democratic countries, you cannot bring yourselves to comprehend and fathom the political climate of Afghanistan. The thought of a parent selling their daughter to get food, the increasing risk of illegal migration in order to secure their children’s future and the high number of people selling all of their assets in order to find a way to sustain themselves nutritionally for a few days, seems far away from your reality. But this is the reality in Afghanistan. Today, Afghans are paying the price of false promises with our lives. And no one can comprehend lightly what the people of Afghanistan are going through due to the wrong strategies of national, regional, and international politicians – and which Afghan women often were not given a say.
International Peace Day is a time when we should stand all together in sisterhood and solidarity to amplify each other voices around the world in order to get practical, active, and unsurmountable support for the people of Afghanistan, Ukraine, Palestine, and any other place where girls and women are suffering war, conflict, unjust, militarised masculinity and cultural norms which have made the everyday life of girls and women difficult
“Peace” has different meanings for different girls and women around the world. Someone may see peace in equal education opportunities for their children. Some others may find peace in having enough food, some others may find peace in employment, and some may believe peace of mind is crucial. The absence of physical war may be peace for a politician, but not for us. For us, women, peace has so many meanings. I believe “real peace” is the “peace” where every girl and woman can have equal access to all opportunities and have a dignified human life with physical and mental peace, and no political change can bargain women’s human rights.
Our dream for a peaceful and just society should not remain as always a dream. We need to make this dream a reality by joining hands in solidarity, unity, sisterhood and accept diversity and differences. And when needed we have to be able to lean on each other, shoulder each other, and embrace each other.