“Violence against women is widespread in Afghanistan and it is a big problem. Unfortunately, our women are still under a lot of pressure and do not have the opportunities to defend themselves. If anybody denies that, then they’re lying.“
Those are the words of Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president from 2001 til 2014. Unfortunately, he is not exaggerating. In fact, Amnesty International has named Afghanistan the “world’s most dangerous country to be a woman”.
But there is more to be said about Afghanistan’s women. Many, especially younger women, go to school and have access to radio, TV and the internet. Their world is expanding, and some choose to fight for a better life and society – in spite of the dangers entailed. The Taliban and other conservative groups are still frequently threatening or even killing women considered to be too progressive.
To the right you can read more about (the lack of) women’s rights in Afghanistan and the heavy constraints placed upon the lives of Afghan girls and women by the Taliban and other proponents of tribal custom. But you can also hear patriotic songs from the country’s intrepid feminists, who have fought for equality and freedom since 1977, and you can watch videos showing female Afghan role models – from the world-famous politician Malalai Joya to the country’s first women’s cycling team.