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Gender Inequality In Afghanistan Essay

1691 words - 7 pages

Unequal treatment of individuals based on their gender is called gender inequality and it is characterized by man’s dominance and regarding of women and as inferior and less valuable beings because of their sex. It is diverse and widespread all over the world with Asia being the most affected continent. It can be classified into different classes which are demonstrated in different ways. First, there is an economic gender inequality which is demonstrated by women contributing less than men in the formal work sector; thereby, being more likely to live in poverty. Secondly, political gender inequality which entails low representation of women in elected offices, political and corporate ...view middle of the document...

But, women have willingly given in to the oppression because of its deep entrenchment within their culture. Most of Afghanistan’s citizens follow their informal customary laws to promote family values and community cohesion until now. Traditionally gender distinguished the different roles of men and women, where men took the governing role in the community while women were seen as men’s property, bringing about gender segregation. Although customary laws violated women’s rights under international standards, Jirgas upheld them to generate community cohesion. For instance, most tribes, in cases of murder, gave a woman as compensation for offence committed to the family of the victim. Also, in cases of kidnapping and adultery, most tribes forced the women into marriages, and rape cases were rarely investigated and penalized. In addition, women who had lost their virginity were looked down at and such incidences were hidden by the communities whenever possible. (AREU 2013: 38).
Taliban regime: Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. During this regime women who had little children were restricted from working and the rest were not allowed to run their businesses in public. They were allowed to work in hospitals, but they could only attend to female patients and not males. School girls were attacked by the Taliban’s especially in the rural areas and as a result girl’s education was prohibited. Women who did not abide by the rules were punished in public and others imprisoned.
Post-Taliban regime: After the fall of the Taliban, a new constitution was formed which lifted most of the restrictions on women and they tried to get back their jobs in civil service with little success due to limited access to labor market and lack of professional skills to carry out their duties. During this period the Afghanistan government was unstable and could not provide security to the public. This led to increased use of customary laws. To date, gender inequality in Afghanistan is still a critical issue and the following factors have contributed to current gender in equality.
a) Low level of protection from the family where women are exposed to early and arranged marriages.
b) The Afghanistan Constitution and Islamic Sharia Law allows polygamy, holds fathers as natural guardians of their children, and dictates women to inherit smaller shares compared to men.
c) Violence against women is practiced, tolerated and the abusers are rarely prosecuted neither does the authorities investigate such crimes.
d) Rape cases are rarely reported to the authorities for fear of being looked down on (Morgan 2008:2)
e) Women must receive permission from their husbands if they want to work.
f) Rapists have the freedom to settle rape cases by paying money to the victim’s family
g) When women deny their husbands their sexual demands, the husbands are allowed to deny them food and water.
Only a small fraction of Afghanistan women speak in public against women inequality and...

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