sito in fase di manutenzione: alcuni contenuti potrebbero non essere aggiornati
 dicembre 2021 


Ministero degli Affari Esteri

Living together - Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe [Report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe] PDF DOWNLOAD >>


Cookie Policy

>> IPS


by Angeline Oyog and Niccolo Sarno A European solidarity campaign for Afghan women builds to a head on Mar. 8, International Women's Day, backed by international figures, NGOs and ordinary women of all nationalities and faiths. Women in Afghanistan, especially since the takeover of large areas of the country by the fundamentalist Taleban militia, face special discrimination and denial of basic rights, education and health care -- all in the name of an extreme interpretation of Islamic law rejected by most international Islamic authorities. ''It is forbidden to go see the doctor alone'' an Afghan woman with the campaign told IPS. ''Some husbands even refuse to bring their wives to the doctors.'' Like other Afghan women with the campaign she wore a traditional head-to-toe burqa veil and dress and asked not to be named for reasons of personal safety. ''It is not even worth it any more to take care of oneself,'' she said. ''If they survive, so much the better. If they die, that's it.'' Campaign supporters say the situation is not just an 'Islamic' problem. ''It is not our culture, it is not our tradition, it's not the religion, it's misuse of power,'' said a Afghan woman doctor who was in Brussels for the launch of the campaign last month. The French emergency aid NGO Medecins du Monde, which began its operations in Afghanistan in 1982 as Afghan mujahadin battled Soviet forces in the country, said it was ''tempting but false to make the Taleban solely responsible for the isolation of women and the denial of their basic rights''. Existing social and religious habits have traditionally excluded Afghan women from education and access to health care, Medecins du Monde point out. Illiteracy, early marriages, successive pregnancies with short intervals and lack of health care have made women and children particularly vulnerable. ''If the women in the cities were able to benefit from a certain liberalisation, notably during the Soviet occupation, the situation in the countryside did not change,'' the organisation said. ''The years of war just worsened what was already a precarious situation for women.'' The campaign, which includes initiatives taken by women and human rights organisations throughout the European Union and the rest of the world, is aimed at mobilising international public opinion on International Women's Day around the issue of rights for the women of Afghanistan. Launched by the European Union's office for humanitarian aid (ECHO), the campaign urges the U.N. and international organisations not to recognise any regime in Afghanistan as long as ''unacceptable gender-based discrimination'' is practised there. ''Women do not have access to hospitals if there is a male doctor,'' explained the Afghan doctor, speaking in Brussels. In July 1997 the Taleban transferred all women's services to Rabia Balkhi hospital, which in the view of aid workers there needs between six and 12 months' construction work. During the construction, a clinic without in-patient facilities would have to help sick women as best as it can. The health status of the Afghan people is one of the worst in the world. Life expectancy is 43 years for men and 44 years for women. Infant mortality is 250 per 1,000 live births, three times that of neighbouring Pakistan. Maternal mortality is 1,700 per 100,000 live births, four times higher than in Pakistan and 100 times that of the United Kingdom. In Kabul there are 22 hospitals, 26 clinics, 33 mother & child units, seven specialist clinics and 30 nutritional centres, providing a total of just 2,679 hospital beds for a city with a population of two million people. The NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a recent report that the centralisation of the health care system for women denies them access to services. Women can come into the building only if accompanied by their husband, father, or brother. ''There are clear indications that the new health care policy is likely to last, and be extended to other parts of the country,'' warned MSF. ''Today, women have access to most hospitals for emergency cases, but there is not enough female staff,'' MSF's Pierre Pascal Vandini told IPS. ''And some hospitals still do not accept female patients.'' MSF says the situation will only get worse as women are denied health care and the likelihood that international NGOs may withdraw support for health systems that discriminate in this way. The banning of training for women health staff will have a longer term effect as well. Writing in the current edition of Index on Censorship magazine, news editor and Afghan expert Michael Griffin argues that NGOs in the country have struggled to respond to the Taleban's ''wholesale rejection'' of their demands for gender equality, in favour of a bottomless reliance on unconditional relief. ''Development, which for most aid workers is shorthand for the empowerment of women and girls,'' he writes, ''had been effectively outlawed.'' ''Afghanistan is the only country in the world where the law enforces segregation on grounds of gender,'' European Commissioner for humanitarian affairs Emma Bonino told IPS in Brussels at the start of the campaign. ''This is not only a gross violation of human rights, it is gender apartheid.'' Last Septmber, Bonino visited Kabul to assess aid programmes funded by ECHO, which granted in 1997 more than 40 million dollars for emergency aid programmes in Afghanistan. During the trip Taleban authorities detained Bonino and a group of aid workers, journalists and diplomats, after they took photographs in a women's hospital. She has taken a personal interest in the matter and in the related campaign that she endorses in her personal capacity, the 'Flower for the Women of Kabul' campaign. But she says that the campaign is not intended to be polemical about ethnic groups or religions: ''It is a campaign to defend human rights, and more specifically women's rights.'' ''It is not a religious problem nor a question of local cultural traditions,'' said lawyer Patrick Baoudouin, president of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH) in Paris this week. ''All gender-based apartheid must stop''. Rights groups contend that many women and ethnic minorities who defy the Taleban rules have been executed.

Altri articoli su:
[ Afghanistan ] [ Un Fiore per le Donne di Kabul ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ]

Comunicati su:
[ Afghanistan ] [ Un Fiore per le Donne di Kabul ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ]

Interventi su:
[ Afghanistan ] [ Un Fiore per le Donne di Kabul ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ]

- WebSite Info