Women Within Afghanistan
While we often hear about the constant war, violence and political instability in Afghanistan what is less publicized is the plight faced by women living in this country. Historically the international community has not placed women’s issues very high on their priority list. This is unfortunate because Afghan women are routinely robbed of the most basic and fundamental human rights.
These rights include access to education, access to healthcare and skills development. As a result of being denied access to these services women and girls are not able to walk to school safely, they are not able to access justice when they are raped nor are they able to live out their dreams of being doctors, lawyers and engineers. We must remain mindful of the fact that these are not Western values but rather universal values. As Canadians we have not only a right but an obligation to ensure that Afghan women are provided with the same rights that we so often take for granted.
In light of the fact that Canada has changed the role it will play in Afghanistan post 2011 we have been presented with a perfect opportunity to help ensure that women’s issues do not continue to be overlooked. If Canada is going to help create a more stable and secure Afghanistan then it will need to ensure that women are part of the equation. If this is not done then Afghanistan, a country that has experienced over 23 years of war, will never see peace.