Self immolation is a method of suicide by lighting oneself on fire. According to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, self immolation has never been such an epidemic in Afghanistan as it is today. This is one fact that leads people to the sobering reality that our efforts in Afghanistan have done nothing for the vast majority of women there.
Despite this, politicians, military leaders, and sadly even some misguided American feminist groups continue to use the plight of women in Afghanistan to justify more spending, more troops and more war. People who care for the people of Afghanistan have got to see this for what it is. Women never benefit from bombs and bullets.
When the U.S and its allies chose to put the Karzai regime in place, they conveniently overlooked the fact that it is overrun with the same patriarchal attitudes toward women as the Taliban. During my recent trip to Afghanistan, I saw the crushing poverty that Afghans must endure. A few brave women from RAWA and the Afghan Women’s Mission pointed out in a recent article that the military establishment claims that it must win the military victory first and then the U.S. will take care of humanitarian needs. But they have it backward. Improve living conditions and security will improve. Focus on security at the expense of humanitarian goals, and coalition forces will accomplish neither. The first step toward improving people’s lives is a negotiated settlement to end the war.
Share this video and help your friends and family to see what is really happening to women in Afghanistan. Refuse to accept the line that we must stay in Afghanistan to protect the women of Afghanistan. Help us get people to Rethink Afghanistan.
In this video:
Orzala Ashraf serves on the Board of Directors of the Afghan Women’s Network and is the founder of Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA).
Ann Jones is a journalist and author of a number of non-fiction books about her research into women’s and humanitarian issues, including Kabul in Winter. She has also written and taken photographs for a number of publications including National Geographic Traveler, Outside and the New York Times.
Sonali Kolhatkar is the host and producer of KPFK Radio’s Uprising, a daily drive-time morning public affairs program in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. She is also Co-Director of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a non-profit that works in solidarity with Afghan women.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is the first non-American journalist to be awarded the prestigious Livingston Award and the youngest recipient of the One World Media broadcast journalist of the year award in the United Kingdom. She has produced and reported for major networks in the United States and Britain including CNN, PBS, Channel 4 (U.K.) and the Discovery channel.
Kavita Ramdas is the President and CEO of the largest non-profit organization in the world exclusively funding women’s human rights, the Global Fund for Women.
Anand Gopal is Afghanistan Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal.
Fahima Vorgetts is Director of the Afghan Women’s Fund and serves on the Board of Directors of Women for Afghan Women.
Fantana Gailani is the founder of the Afghanistan Women Council.
Shukria Barakzai is a member of the Afghan parliament and helped draft Afghanistan’s constitution. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aina–E–Zan (Women’s Mirror), a weekly newspaper for women in Kabul, Afghanistan.