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APPEAL TO ENSURE EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL AFGHANI WOMEN

AND DAILY INTERNATIONAL PRESS REVIEW The Shia Family Law signed by President Karzai is a giant step back for women in Afghanistan. It entrenches the worst kind of discrimination by authorising violence against women. It denies Afghan women equal rights in education, employment, health care and custody matters. It is, in effect, a law that legalizes marital rape. The passage of this law is a crime against the women of Afghanistan and it must be repealed. We, the undersigned, call for: - the Parliament of Afghanistan to abrogate this law; - the President of Afghanistan and the Afghan authorities to repeal this law; - the international community and every individual concerned with the human rights of women to voice their opinion to the President and Parliament of Afghanistan. Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty No Peace Without Justice Garantir des droits égaux pour toutes les femmes afghanes La Loi sur le code de la famille chiite signée par le Président Karzai constitue un gigantesque pas en arrière pour les femmes en Afghanistan. Elle consacre la pire forme de discrimination en autorisant la violence contre les femmes. Elle nie aux femmes afghanes l’égalité des droits en matière d’éducation, d’emploi, de soins de santé et de garde parentale. Il s’agit, effectivement, d’une loi qui légalise le viol conjugal. L’adoption de cette loi est un crime contre les femmes d’Afghanistan et elle doit être abrogée. Nous, les soussignés, demandons: - au Parlement d’Afghanistan d’abroger cette loi; - au Président d’Afghanistan et aux autorités afghanes d'abroger cette loi; - à la communauté internationale et à toute personne concernée par les droits humains des femmes de faire connaître leur opinion au Président et au Parlement d’Afghanistan. Parti Radical Nonviolent Transnational et Transparti No Peace Without Justice Appello alle autorità afghane: revocate subito la legge contro le donne! La legge sulla famiglia per gli sciiti firmata dal Presidente Karzai rappresenta un gigantesco passo indietro per i diritti umani delle donne afghane: reintroducendo discriminazioni inaccettabili, autorizza formalmente la violenza contro le donne legalizzando di fatto lo stupro da parte del coniuge e nega uguali diritti in materia di custodia dei figli, istruzione, lavoro e cure mediche. L'approvazione di questa legge deve essere respinta con fermezza. Noi sottoscritti ci appelliamo: - al Parlamento afghano affinché abroghi questa legge; - al Presidente afghano affinché la revochi; - a tutti coloro che hanno a cuore i diritti umani affinché esprimano il loro forte sostegno a favore delle donne afghane. Partito Radicale Nonviolento Transnazionale e Transpartito Non c'è Pace Senza Giustizia Emma Bonino, Vicepresident of the Italian Senate Moushira Khattab, Minister of State for Family and Population, Egypt Bakhtiar Amin, former Iraqi Minister for Human Rights, Head of the International Alliance for Justice Ghassane Salamé, former Minister of Culture, Lebanon Hussein Sinjari, former Minister in the Regional Government of Kurdistan, President of Iraqi Institute of Democracy Safia Al-Suhail, MP, Iraq Antoine Basbous, Directeur Observatoire des Pays Arabes Wafa B.H. Omar, Arab Democracy Foundation, Qatar Hakan Altinay, Executive Director OSI, Turkey Mohsen Marzouk, Kadem, Tunisia Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Pakistan Danial Saoud, President of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy, Freedoms and Human Rights, Syria Nabila Hamza, president Foundation for the Future, Jordan Mohammad Al-Qahtani, Professor of Economics, Saudi Arabia Rashida Al-Hamdnai, Chair for Women's National Committee, Yemen Zeynep Dagi, MP, Turkey Sylvia Tiryaki, Deputy Director, Global Political Trends Center (GPoT), Turkey Mensur Agkun, Director of the Foreign Policy Program, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) Asem Rababa, President of the Adeleh Center, Jordan Nadia Ait Zai, CIDDEF, Algeria Jamila Said Musse, Association for Integration and Development (AID), Somalia Naphy Samba Ka, Viceprésident de la section Sénégalaise d'Amnesty International, Enseignante à la Facultè des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques de l' Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal Barbara Ibrahim, Ibn Khaldun Center, Cairo, Egypt Gila Benmayor, Journalist, Turkey Hisham Kassem, Journalist, Egypt Brigitte Chelebian, President of Justice without Frotiers, Lebanon Abdulla Alduraz, Secretary General Bahrain Human Rights Society Ahmed Salem Al-Wahishi, Yemen Center for International Affairs Selma Acuner, Ankara University, Turkey Aktham Eltall, President of "Media without Borders League", Jordan Moustapha Bouchachi, Président de la Ligue Algérienne des Droits de l’Homme Souhayr Nelhassen, President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Khady Cisse, Secretary General of SYNPICS Nader Arzouni, Owner&General Manager, Lebanon Abdul Rafim Kamar, Executive Director Manifesto99, Sierra Leone Mama-Raouf Tchagnao, former director of Status of Women Directorate, Togo Ilknur Ustun, Ka-Der, Turkey Umit Boyner, businesswomen, Turkey El Habib Belkouch, CEDHD, Morocco Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Laureate Betty Williams, Nobel Laureate Fatou Bensouda, deputy prosecutor ICC Elisabeth Guigou, MP, former Minister for Justice, France Pär Stenbäck, former Minister, Finland Brigitte Taittinger, CEO of Annick Goutal Elisabeth Badinter, writer, France Elisabeth Shemla, Journalist Alisa Feinstein Swidler, phylantropist, USA Lesley Abdela, Journalist, UK Giuliano Amato, former Prime Minister, Italy Emma Marcegaglia, President of Confindustria, Italy Elvira Lindo, writer, Spain Saudamini Siegrist, UNICEF Ann Linnarsson, UNICEF Fabienne Servan Schreiber, film producer, France Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, House of Lords, UK Lord Khalid Hameed, House of Lords, UK Lord Lester of Herne Hill, House of Lords, UK Lord John Alderdice, House of Lords, UK Lord Peter Henry Goldsmith, House of Lords, UK Lord Hylton, House of Lords, UK Lord Smith of Clifton, House of Lords, UK Lord Roger Mynors Swinfen, House of Lords, UK Lord Tom McNally, House of Lords, UK Lord William Goodhart, House of Lords, UK Baroness Jeane Corston, former Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights in UK Parliament Baroness Joyce Gould, House of Lords, UK Baroness Ruth Deech, member of the House of Lords, UK Baroness Sharp of Guildford, House of Lords, UK Baroness Sally Hamwee, House of Lords, UK Baroness Angela Harris, House of Lords, UK Baroness Manzila Pola Uddin, Hose of Lords, UK Baroness Amos, Hose of Lords, UK Baroness Anne Gibson of Market Rasen, House of Lords, UK Hon. Henry Bellingham, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Lorely Burt, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Ann Cryer, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Diana Johnson, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Lynne Johnes, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Lynne Featherstone MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Jan Leedham, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Bruce Malcolm MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Theresa May, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Madeleine Moon, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Greg Mulholland, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Clare Short MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Paul Rowen, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Des Brown, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Alasdair McDonnel, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Denis MacShane, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Betty Williams, MP, House of Commons, UK Hon. Derek Wyatt, MP, House of Commons, UK Salvatore Zappalà, Professor of International Law, Catania, University, Italy Giancarlo Bosetti, editor of RESET, Italy Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, MP, India Birgitta Ohlsson, MP Sweden, Liberal Party Hüseyin Aydin, MP, Germany Jean Jacques Flahaux, MP, Belgium David Clarinval, MP, Belgium Karine Lalieux, MP, Belgium Josy Dubié, Senator, Belgium Nathalie Gilson, MP, Belgium Sen. David Norris MP, Ireland Anne-Marie Linzin, Honorary Speaker of the Belgian Senate Niccolo Figà-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice, Italy Marino Busdachin, Secretary General of UNPO, Netherlands On. Rita Bernardini MP (Radicali PD), Italy On. Marco Beltrandi MP (Radicali PD), Italy On. Marco Carra MP (PD), Italy On. Pierluigi Castagnetti MP (PD), Italy On. Susanna Cenni MP (PD), Italy On. Lucia Codurelli MP (PD), Italy On. Maria Coscia MP (PD), Italy On. Fabio Evangelisti MP (Idv), Italy On. Maria Antonietta Farina Coscioni MP (Radicali PD), Italy On. Maria Grazia Gatti MP (PD), Italy On. Manuela Ghizzon MP (PD), Italy On. Luisa Gnecchi MP (PD), Italy On. Lella Golfo MP (PDL), Italy On. Giancarlo Lehner MP (PDL), Italy On. Maria Anna Madia MP (PD), Italy On. Matteo Mecacci MP (Radicali PD), Italy On. Alessia Mosca MP (PD), Italy On. Donato Mosella MP (PD), Italy On. Carmen Motta MP (PD), Italy On. Delia Murer MP (PD), Italy On. Franco Narducci MP (PD), Italy On. Fiamma Nirenstein MP (PDL), Italy On. Francesco Nucara MP (MISTO), Italy On. Maria Piera Pastore MP (LNP), Italy On. Arturo Parisi MP (PD), Italy On. Barbara Saltamartini MP (PDL), Italy On. Marilena Samperi MP (PD), Italy On. Andrea Sarubbi MP (PD), Italy On. Daniela Sbrollini MP (PD), Italy On. Souad Sbai MP (PDL), Italy On. Alessandra Siragusa MP (PD), Italy On. Maurizio Turco MP (Radicali PD), Italy On. Rosa Villecco Calipari MP (PD), Italy On. Sandra Zampa MP (PD), Italy On. Elisabetta Zamparutti MP (Radicali PD), Italy Sen. Maria Antezza MP (PD), Italy Sen. Franca Chiaromonte MP (PD), Italy Sen. Silvia Della Monica MP (PD), Italy Sen. Cecilia Donaggio MP (PD), Italy Sen. Cinzia Fontana MP (PD), Italy Sen. Paolo Giaretta MP (PD), Italy Sen. Maria Ida Germontani MP (PDL), Italy Sen. Mirella Giai MP (UDC-SVP-Aut), Italy Sen. Paolo Nerozzi MP (PD), Italy Sen. Lucio Malan MP (PDL), Italy Sen. Francesca Maria Marinaro MP (PD), Italy Sen Alberto Maritati MP (PD), Italy Sen. Colomba Mongiello MP (PD), Italy Sen. Achille Passoni MP (PD), Italy Sen. Marco Perduca MP (Radicali PD), Italy Sen. Donatella Poretti MP (Radicali PD), Italy Sen. Francesco Rutelli MP (PD), Italy Sen. Michele Saccomanno MP (PDL), Italy Sen. Luigi Vimercati MP (PD), Italy MEP Vittorio Agnoletto (GUE/NGL) MEP Gabriele Albertini (PPE) MEP Marco Cappato (ALDE) MEP Paulo Casaca (PSE) MEP Richard Corbett (PSE) MEP Edite Estrela (PSE) MEP Ioan Lucian Hambasan (PPE) MEP Sepp Kusstatscher (Verts/ALE) MEP Umberto Guidoni (GUE/NGL) MEP Pia Locatelli (PSE) MEP Caroline Lucas (Verts/ALE) MEP Marco Pannella (ALDE) MEP Paul Romeva (Verts/ALE) MEP Francesco Speroni (UEN) MEP Struan Stevenson (PPE) MEP Eva-Britt Svensson (GUE/NGL) MEP Britta Thomsen (PSE) MEP Sophie in't Veld (ALDE) MEP Renate Weber (ALDE) MEP Anna Zaborska (PPE) _______________________ INTERNATIONAL PRESS REVIEW THE COURAGE WE ARE SEEKING FROM MODERATE ISLAMISTS Il Sole 24 Ore - April 5, 2009 by Giuliano Amato Readers must pardon me if I don’t write about the economy this week, despite the fact that the G-20 summit which just ended invites several points of comment and analysis. We will certainly have an opportunity to return to these issues. However, I feel that another issue, no less important than the economy, will affect the future of the world. I refer to our relations with Islam, and in particular to the dangerous gap that could be created between us by events such as the horrible one inflicting damage to women in Afghanistan, similar to what happened in the Swat valley in Pakistan where fundamentalism emerged not only triumphant but unopposed amongst Islamists themselves. We all know the issue. It concerns a law that was just approved which annulled the most important acknowledged women’s rights acquired in recent years. The law includes total prohibition of women’s authority over their children and the obligation to concede to their husbands’ desire all the time; and it forbids them from leaving the house without their husband’s permission, even to consult a doctor. In the Swat valley, the Taliban accepted the ceasefire after the Pakistani government agreed to reinstate sharia law, beginning with the renewed exclusion of girls from school. Emma Bonino launched an appeal on the Resetdoc website (a site for promoting dialogue between civilizations) asking the Parliament and the President of Afghanistan to repeal this law and asking all those who care for human rights to sign her appeal. At this point, it seems to be absolutely necessary that Islamist intellectuals who have adopted position towards the modernization of Islam during the past few years join her appeal, seeking in it what brings peace and not war, equality between human beings and not inferiority of the infidels, and respect of everybody’s rights, especially of women, instead of cancelling them. Personally ,I have always been in favour of a dialogue along these positions, convinced that fundamentalists are inspired not by the word of the Islamic God but by an archaic and ideological reading of this word, just as Jews and Christians have read in the past the word of God. I should not be the one to say it. Islamists themselves should point out these positions as heretical and unacceptable. I realise perfectly that so-called moderate Islamist intellectuals would never be able to convince their Islam brothers, if having a dialogue with us means they should refuse the sacred texts and the fundamentalist interpretations, making them appear as westernised foreigners. For these reasons, in addition to basic reasons of coherence with our principles, I have always considered as fundamentalist in the opposite way anyone in Europe who would be ready to accept Muslims only if they cease being Muslims in one way or the other. This is why I have always observed with interest those who studied the sacred texts and analysed the different interpretations giving credit to the values that are most coherent with our time. Abu Zayd, for example, wrote in a persuading and simple style that Allah orally communicated with Mohammed, hence he used a language that was comprehensible at that time. Yet nothing proves that these precepts would be expressed with the same words today, nor that killing could be considered as a common way of punishment. Even Tariq Ramadan likes confronting himself with these texts, reading in them the values in which he has often affirmed his belief, from peace to respect of human rights without gender discrimination. For this, I have criticised him less than others who, when explicitly against stoning, did not ask for its abolition but simply for its suspension, while waiting to clarify the texts in the Koran that somehow seem to legitimize it. Today, however, with this heart-breaking Afghan step backward, he must take a position, together with others, starting with Abu Zayd himself. I am not asking them to apologise for the Taliban’s positions that are prevailing in Afghanistan, as Amartya Sen fears when confronted with such situations. Sen is right: if I consider the entire Islamic world responsible for fundamental extremists and their actions, then I should assume the same responsibility for extremists taking shape in the Western world. That is not the point. It is about distancing from this approach; it is about Islamists saying to other Islamists that the return of Afghanistan to Talibanic positions in matters of marriage and family does not correspond with the Koran. On the contrary, it violates the Koran and corresponds with a decadent culture which should not be recognised anymore. I wait with trepidation for these positions to become explicit. Otherwise it would be a real disaster. This question is of utmost importance and does not allow anybody to be silent, in the same way that silence would not be acceptable on the issue of stoning, leading to an extreme and brutal consequence the idea that women are like animals in the service of man. Should silence prevail, I would have to assume one of two things: either the Koran is the source of such concepts even for its most enlightened interpreters, or these interpreters lack the courage in saying what they think. In this case I can no longer consider them as my interlocutors. Neither could I, in such circumstances, accept the usual arguments of Tariq Ramadan, whereby it is wrong to take positions too distant from those widely believed in, because this risks losing listeners. In this case, we have a Muslim government that affirmed and respected women’s rights in the past, and now, to please a strong enemy, makes a u-turn. Does it really concern the Koran? Is there something to fear in saying that it does not concern the Koran and in exclaiming that the Taliban is wrong? After the ceasefire in the valley of Swat, Fareed Zakaria wrote that since we cannot eradicate them alone, we must learn to live with radical Islam, distinguishing radicals from moderates, emphasizing their possible strength and avoiding any kind of generalisation. I absolutely agree that the efficiency of this strategy depends not only on us, but on the courage of moderate Islamists making themselves heard, in taking up space, in pushing the extremist positions into a corner. I believe that Pier Luigi Battista made a mistake a few days ago in defining Ramadan as a “fundamentalist intellectual”, but he did not made a mistake asking him what he thinks about events in Afghanistan. I ask him the same question, and Emma Bonino’s appeal gives him the chance to do so, before Karzai, who apparently seems ready to do it, would change the law while he would remain being silent. "STUPRO CONIUGALE UNA LEGGE CONTRO LA COSTITUZIONE" L'Unità - 9 aprile 2009 La ex ministra afgana per le questioni femminili: Garzai può modificarla senza bisogno del permesso del clero sciita di Gabriel Bertinetto Parlamento di Kabul ha approvato una legge per la minoranza sciita, che consente di fatto lo stupro domestico, imponendo alle mogli l'obbligo di avere rapporti sessuali ogni qualvolta il marito lo voglia. Inoltre vieta loro di uscire di casa senza permesso coniugale. Il presidente Karzai ha firmato la legge ma la protesta in Afghanistan e fuori è stata così forte da indurlo a una parziale marcia indietro. Il provvedimento verrà riesaminato. Al telefono da Kabul la presidente della Commissione per i diritti umani ed ex ministra per le questioni femminili, Sima Samar. Signora Samar, come giudica la legge per le donne sciite? «Non è in sintonia con la Costituzione e non rispetta le Convenzioni internazionali ratificate dallo Stato afghano. Il fatto è che agli sciiti in Afghanistan fino ad epoca recente non era consentito di esercitare i diritti loro inerenti come gruppo. Per la prima volta la Costituzione del 2004 glieli ha concessi. Ma questo non può essere usato da alcuni per negare una parte dei diritti fondamentali che ciascuno ha in quanto essere umano. E in particolare non vuol dire che si possano limitare i diritti delle donne». Si può dire che il Parlamento con l'avallo del presidente Karzai abbiano rimesso in vigore, seppure limitato al 15% della popolazione, lo stesso sistema discriminatorio instaurato a suo tempo dai talebani? «Sì, in qualche modo è così. Ed aggiungo che la bozza iniziale della legge era ancora peggiore rispetto al testo finale». Karzai ha fama di progressista. Come può avere firmato un provvedimento simile? «Non lo so. La commissione per i diritti umani aveva lavorato molto sulla bozza di partenza per correggerla. A un certo punto è stata sottoposta a Karzai. Ero all'estero e non so davvero perché abbia detto sì. Spero che non sia per la pressione di una parte del clero sciita, desideroso di trasformare la propria mentalità in legge». La spiegazione corrente è che il capo di Stato abbia bisogno del sostegno sciita per essere rieletto in agosto. Ma è così debole Karzai da dover barattare i suoi principi per qualche voto? «In ogni paese gli appuntamenti elettorali possono comportare qualche tipo di negoziato. Probabilmente era in cerca di qualche vantaggio politico. Bisogna considerare poi che il grosso della popolazione sciita non conosce i contenuti della legge, che non sono stati resi pubblici. Oppure non li capisce. Anche perché la maggior parte degli afghani è analfabeta. Molti non conoscono i dettagli della legge. Per gli sciiti il fatto di ottenere per la prima volta nella storia il rispetto dei propri diritti come gruppo e di potere esercitare liberamente il proprio credo religioso è un fatto positivo. Ma approfittare di questo per soffocare i diritti di metà della popolazione sciita, quella di sesso femminile, è inaccettabile». In generale come ex ministra è soddisfatta del suo lavoro? «Non c'è dubbio che in Afghanistan ci siano stati dei miglioramenti per le donne. Nel campo dell'istruzione, della sanità, delle opportunità di lavoro, che almeno ufficialmente non sono impedite. C'è più partecipazione politica, accesso al Parlamento, al governo. Ma con molta chiarezza devo dire che come donna non sono soddisfatta. E, nelle zone rurali, la situazione per gran parte delle donne è cambiata poco. Non sono a conoscenza dei loro diritti. Le leggi che le tutelano non vengono applicate, spesso i crimini contro le donne restano impuniti. Come commissione per i diritti umani abbiamo lavorato molto. Ma la situazione è difficile. La guerra continua. Le percentuale di analfabeti è altissima. Ci vorrà del tempo perché le cose migliorino. Ma ripeto, ci diamo molto da fare. Anche rispetto a questa legge, per un anno ci siamo impegnati per emendarla. Abbiamo fatto proposte. Ma è mancata la volontà politica di cambiarla. E non mi riferisco solo a Karzai, ma in primo luogo al Parlamento nel quale alla fine la legge è stata fatta passare senza rispettare le corrette procedure». Karzai si dice disposto a rivedere la legge, ma d'intesa con il clero sciita. Che senso ha? «Solo il Parlamento ha facoltà di varare una legge. Nessun altra istituzione può arrogarsi quel compito. Il progetto di legge è competenza del ministero della Giustizia. L'approvazione spetta all'organo legislativo dello Stato. Perciò non capisco perché Karzai faccia un'affermazione simile. Le pressioni esterne sono possono essere accettate. Vige il potere della legge e non la legge del potere». Spesso nei Paesi musulmani la religione è usata strumentalmente per fini politici. Cosa ne pensa? «Non accade solo nei Paesi musulmani. In molti Paesi, compresi quelli di tradizione cristiana, si cercano pretesti per giustificare violazioni dei diritti. Non solo nei Paesi di cultura islamica, ci tengo a ripeterlo». Un deputato sciita ha difeso la legge sostenendo che in fondo alle donne viene permesso di uscire di casa senza permesso se c'è un'emergenza ... «Credo che questa frase abbia a che fare con la sua mentalità, non con l'Islam. Chi dice queste cose, è un insicuro, non ha fiducia in se stesso. L'Islam non c'entra». L'APPELLO «La legge sulla famiglia per gli sciiti firmata dal presidente Karzai rappresenta un gigantesco passo indietro per i diritti umani delle donne afghane». Così inizia l'appello che centinaia di personalità politiche, intellettuali, attivisti per i diritti umani, imprenditori di numerosi paesi rivolgono alle autorità afghane affinché la legge sia abrogata e revocata. «Reintroducendo discriminazioni inaccettabili, autorizza formalmente la violenza contro le donne legalizzando di fatto lo stupro da parte del coniuge e nega uguali diritti in materia di custodia dei figli, istruzione, lavoro e cure mediche». Tra i firmatari, con la vicepresidente del Senato italiano Emma Bonino, sono Moushira Khattab, ministra egiziana per la Famiglia, la deputata irachena Safia AI-Suhail, la relatrice Onu sulla libertà di religione in Pakistan Asma Jahangir, la deputata turca Zeynep Dagi, la presidente dei comitato nazionale yemenita per le donne Rashida AI-Hamdnai. In Italia hanno aderito numerosi parlamentari democratici e radicali, e anche di altre forze politiche. AFGHANISTAN: L'OPIUM ET L'OBSESSION DE LA SEXUALITE FEMININE Le Monde - 9 avril 2009 par Tahar Ben Jelloun Ah si l'on pouvait satisfaire les désirs les plus complexes et pervers des fanatiques dans le monde ! Les uns veulent posséder la femme contre son gré, les autres interdisent la contraception et le préservatif. Ils sont tous obsédés par la femme. Si dans le monde les femmes se battent pour préserver leur dignité et améliorer leur condition, certains Etats comme l'Afghanistan viennent en aide aux hommes en proposant un projet de loi obligeant la femme à se donner à son mari même s'il est éjaculateur précoce, s'il a mauvaise haleine ou si, tout simplement, il ne fait naître chez elle aucun désir. Contre la répulsion, le viol. Les intégristes ont un vrai problème avec la femme, avec le sexe de la femme. Que ce soit dans le judaïsme, le catholicisme ou l'islam, l'intégrisme tremble devant le corps de la femme, a peur de son sexe, et réagit avec la violence du frustré ou du perturbé par la sexualité. Tout tourne autour de cela. On ne comprend rien des motivations des intégristes si on n'intègre pas cette dimension essentielle de leur psychologie et de leur existence. Cela se traduit par le port du voile, de la burqa ou de la djellaba. La femme doit être cachée, invisible, éloignée des regards et de la vie. L'homme dit "ne touche pas à ma femme, à ma fille, à ma soeur, à ma mère !". Autrement dit, "ce corps m'appartient et personne n'a le droit de s'en approcher !". Il faut être mal dans sa peau pour s'approprier ainsi le corps des autres. Et pour justifier cette mentalité, il a recours à la religion, qui elle, au fond, ne lui donne pas ce droit, même si toutes les religions ne sont pas très justes avec la femme. Les talibans, par exemple, imaginent un monde où la femme s'est retirée du monde. Elle existe, mais cloîtrée dans la maison et n'ayant aucun droit de sortir. Cela ne veut pas dire qu'ils crachent sur le plaisir sexuel, au contraire, ils aiment ça au point de vouloir le posséder et d'être les seuls à en jouir. C'est le sens du projet de loi que le président Hamid Karzaï a voulu déposer. Un projet qui souhaitait rendre légal "le viol de l'épouse" et interdire à celle-ci de sortir sans l'autorisation du mari. Cette loi aurait visé les femmes chiites (10 % de la population). Hamid Karzaï comptait sur ce projet de loi pour s'attirer la sympathie et les votes des chiites lors des prochaines élections. Après les protestations de plusieurs Etats, M. Karzaï a fini par retirer ce projet, mais les hommes continueront à se conduire en brutes avec les femmes avec ou sans cette loi. Quoi qu'il en soit, cette proposition de loi, digne de l'époque de la jahilya (période antéislamique, au temps où certains Bédouins enterraient leurs filles vivantes pour éviter que leur honneur ne soit un jour sali) est stupide et grotesque. Que vient faire la loi dans la chambre d'un couple ? Que peut-elle apporter à l'intimité d'un homme et d'une femme ? Quel plaisir en tirerait l'homme qui se sentirait fort grâce à cette loi ? Un plaisir dicté par le texte et une violence légitimée par le droit qui a un sens de l'équité et des réalités bien étrange. En Afghanistan, des femmes se battent, s'organisent et sont aidées par des féministes de plusieurs pays. Mais qu'un homme comme Hamid Karzaï ait pu signer ce projet de loi en dit long sur l'appétit du pouvoir, sur l'ambition dévorante qui l'habite. Comment fait-il pour se présenter face aux Occidentaux qu'il fréquente en ayant ouvert la voie au viol légal dans la conjugalité ? Il voudrait que les talibans le perçoivent comme quelqu'un qui s'approche de leur bord ? Mais les talibans veulent plus et ne se contenteraient pas d'une loi concernant la pratique sexuelle. Ils voudraient régenter toute la société et y introduire une barbarie qui va au-delà de ce que l'on imagine. Donc M. Karzaï fait fausse route et un mauvais calcul. Alors il a fait marche arrière. Pour le moment. Une femme qui jouit est une "salope" ; elle est considérée comme une prostituée (sauf que les malheureuses travailleuses du sexe ne jouissent pas, ce n'est pas un plaisir, c'est un travail, une corvée pour gagner leur vie). Il serait intéressant de faire lire aux hommes ayant peur de cette jouissance quelques-uns des témoignages de femmes qui racontent leur vie sexuelle. Mais nous n'irons pas jusque-là. L'important est de s'élever contre cette initiative afghane qui ne fera qu'aggraver la situation dans le pays et peut-être hâter le retour des talibans sur la scène politique. Car ce qui se joue dans cette région meurtrie par plusieurs guerres, c'est un choix de société et même d'époque. Malheureusement, je suis pessimiste : les armées occidentales n'arriveront pas à éliminer le danger taliban. Le terrain est difficile, les méthodes inégales et le peuple incertain dans ses options. Seuls les Afghans eux-mêmes pourraient en finir avec les talibans. Mais tant que cette guerre est liée au trafic de l'opium, tant que l'argent facile est possible, la lutte sera dure et pas franche. Dans le film de l'Afghan Siddiq Barmak Opium War (2008), on voit une longue file de femmes en burqa avancer à l'horizon en direction d'un champ d'opium. Quand cette file arrive au champ, les personnes soulèvent leur burqa et on découvre que ce sont des talibans armés venus prendre leur part des ventes de cette drogue. Les paysans payent pour ne pas mourir. Cette image résume la situation : la guerre en Afghanistan tourne autour du l'opium et de la femme. Il faut contrôler les deux, sinon, c'est la fin de la tragédie entamée par la barbarie au nom d'un islam totalement étranger à ces pratiques. LIFT THE VEIL ON OUR WAR AIMS The Financial Times, April 14, 2009 by Gideon Rachman The Darul Aman palace is a huge neo-classical pile with hundreds of rooms, set against the backdrop of the snowy mountains that surround Kabul. From a distance, it is an imposing sight. Unfortunately, as I discovered when I visited a few weeks ago, it is also a ruin. The palace was' all but destroyed in the Afghan civil war of the 1990s. Darul Aman was built in the 1920s by Amanullah Khan, a reformist king who also promoted women's rights and discouraged the wearing of the burqa. Ninety years later, the king is long dead, his palace is a wreck and. the burqa is ubiquitous in Kabul. I thought of King Amanullah's reforms this week, as debate flared over a law recently passed by the Afghan parliament. The statute, which applies to the country's Shia minority, would require women to get their husband's permission to leave the home and make it illegal for them to refuse to have sex with their husbands. News of the law was a severe embarrassment for the Nato alliance, just as it was announcing a new strategy to prop up the Afghan government and fight off the Taliban. One of Nato's most popular arguments for the war has long been that the Taliban are medieval, women-hating savages. Western officials stress the number of girls who have been able to go back to school since the fall of the Taliban seven years ago. Laura Bush, the former first lady of the US, once argued that "the fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women". The new Afghan law is now said to be "under review" by President Hamid Karzai - while the perils faced by women's rights activists were underlined this weekend by the murder of Sitara Achakzai in Kandahar. Similar problems are surfacing in Pakistan, now that the government has conceded control of the Swat valley - just two hours from the capital, Islamabad - to Taliban-style militants. Since then, a horrifying video has circulated of a young girl being flogged by bearded mullahs for some alleged act of immodesty. Last week Pakistan's human-rights commission reported that the Swat militants have destroyed 131 girls' schools since they took power earlier this year. Both the Pakistan and the Afghan governments are key allies of the west in the conflict formerly known as the "war on terror". But is it also our business to prevent Afghans and Pakistanis waging a "war on women"? Western leaders seem confused. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the outgoing Nato secretary-general, condemned the new law and said of the Afghan war: "We are there to defend universal values." President Barack Obama took a slightly different lino. He called the new law "abhorrent". But ho ' also said that people should remember that American troops are in Afghanistan to fight for US national security and that "we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda". So which is to be - universal values or national security? The easy way out of the argument is to say that there is no conflict between these aims. The Taliban and al-Qaeda oppress women and threaten the west. By defeating them, you advance western security and women's rights. In the case of Pakistan, this is probably true. The decision to concede the Swat valley to the Pakistani Taliban is a security disaster. It has given Islamist militants and foreign terrorists new resources and safe havens. This is dangerous for both Pakistan and the west. So the sooner the Pakistani government can re-assert control over the area, the better. The US and the UK should use all their powers of persuasion - including financial and military aid - to persuade the Pakistanis to be less supine in Swat. The case of Afghanistan is trickier. Nato is openly looking for an exit strategy for western troops. This could well involve dealing with those elements of the Taliban that are not committed to a global jihad - and so making some accommodation with their ferociously reactionary social values. Sadly, these do have roots in Afghan society. Things would be much easier if western views of women's rights were indeed "universal values" - but they are not, at least not among Pashtun tribesmen. It is significant that Mr Karzai is thought initially to have approved of this new law as an electioneering gambit, ahead of the presidential poll in August. After seven years of fighting, the US and European public now deserve some clarity about our war aims in Afghanistan. We are not fighting for women's rights. We are fighting to prevent the country ever again becoming a base for attacks on the west. This does not mean that the protection of women should be a matter of indifference for the US and for the European governments that have sent troops to Afghanistan. By invading the country, we took 'some responsibility for the government that is left behind. So while the west still funds and protects the Karzai administration, we should lean on the Afghan government not to accept outrageously misogynistic laws. But we should also be realistic about what Nato can achieve. The very phrase "exit strategy" acknowledges that we are on our way out. Once western troops have left, it is the balance of forces within Afghan society that will decide whether girls' schools remain open and women can walk the streets in freedom. There are modernizers and brave individuals within Afghan society who will fight for women's rights, long after Nato has left. But, as the fate of King Amanullah's reforms suggests, there can be no guarantee that the modernizers will win. SALE TEMPS POUR LES FEMMES EN AFGHANISTAN Libération - 15 avril 2009 par Elisabeth Badinter Hamid Karzai, qui fut le candidat de l'Occident à la présidence de la ré publique afghane, va-t-il abroger la loi scélérate contre les femmes chiites votée par le Parlement le mois dernier et signée par lui il y a quelques jours? Bien que le texte de la loi ne soie pas publié, parlementaires féminines et responsables -afghanes de commissions indépendantes veillant au respect des droits des femmes appellent à l'aide. De quoi s'agit-il? Rien moins que du rétablissement du code de la famille taliban pour les populations chiites qui représentent 10% à 15% de la population afghane. Plus précisément, le texte interdit aux femmes de sortir de travailler ou d'aller chez le médecin sans la permission de leur mari et aux petites file d'ailer à l'école sans celle de leur père. En cas de divorce, les enfants sont confiés aux pères ou aux grands-pères. En outre, il proclame la disponibilité sexuelle des épouses, ce qui revient tout simplement à légaliser ce que d'aucuns appellent le viol conjugal, et à légitimer le statut d'objet sexuel des femmes. Déjà, les sunnites lorgnent cette lei pour se l'approprier. Ce retour légal aux années les plus sombres de l'histoire afghane - contraire à la Constitution adoptée en janvier 2O04 - n'est qu'une basse manœuvre politicienne de Karzai pour tenter de se faire réélire à la présidence, en août. Il:achète les voix chiites de la minoríté hazara au prix de la légalisation de l'esclavage des femmes: "votez pour moi et je vous reconnais leur maître absolu". Certes, Karzai peut toujours arguer que le texte réglemente un domaine régi jusqu'ici par la seule coutume et qu'il a déjà été amendé en repoussant l'âge du mariage des filles de 9 ans à 16 ans, au grand dam de 1'imam Mohseni, à l'origine de ce texte: reste qu'en signant cette loi liberticide, il a démontré à tour ceux qui militent pour le respect dei droits de 1'homme qu'il se fichait blende ceux des femmes et de la Constitution. Mais au-delà de ce marchandage électoral répugnant, se pose la question plus générale du pouvoir religieux sur la lei et de ses conséquences pour les femmes dans les républiques ou royaumes qui se veulent "islamiques". Dans tous ces pays qui appliquent la charia les femmes ne jouissent jamais de droits parfaitement identiques à ceux des hommes, quelles que soient les nuances observées d'un pays à l'autre. Et quand le pouvoir politique, comme au Maroc, tente de faire progresser la condition féminine, le puissant parti islamiste s'y oppose de toutes ses forces et gagne des voix. Il est vrai que les intégristes, toutes religions confondues, se comportent comme s'ils haïssaient les femmes: bonnes à "baiser", non à aimer. Mais il se trouve qu'aujourd'hui, les démocraties occidentales, qu'il est de bon ton de brocarder, ont mis fin au pouvoir religieux sur la loi et que cette étape reste à accomplir pour une majorité de pays musulmans. Aussi étrange que cela paraisse, la paix dans le monde est à ce prix qui a pour nom laïcité. C'est un dur combat à mener dont le succès seul peut garantir l'égalité des sexes et là démocratie, dont elle est le critère le plus probant Il n'est donc pas admissible qu'on invoque ici ou ailleurs les coutumes des uns ou les religions des autres pour contourner ou refuser le principe de la laïcité. Si certains gauchistes en Occident et des relativistes bien intentionnés se réclament de I'antiracisme ou de la tolérance pour promouvoir la religion du voile ou de la burqa, qu'ils sachent bien qu'ils font le jeu des intégristes, et notamment des talibans en Afghanistan et au Pakistan. On commence par faire disparaître les femmes de l'espace public, on les dissimula au regard des autres, on les marie de force et on les soumet, au nom de Dieu, au père et au mari tout puissant. Dans le beau romande Khaled Hosseini, Mille Soleils splendides, un père rappelle à sa fille les libertés et les droits dont avaient joui les femmes sous le régime communiste entre 1978 et 1992: "Une bonne époque pour être une femme en Afghanistan." Mais depuis que les moudjahidin se sont emparés du pouvoir en 1992 et pire. depuis l`arrivée des talibans en septembre 1996, la vie des femmes, plus encore que celles des hommes, était devenue un enfer: fermeture des écoles de filles, interdiction de travailler, de rire en public ou de sortir seule, lapidation... L'arrivée des Occidentaux sur le sol afghan n'a certes pas mis fin à toutes les coutumes archaïques. Mais là où ils sont - même si cela ne concerne qu'une petite partie du territoire - 1es femmes ont recouvré leurs droits essentiels. Pour cette raison, il me semble tout aussi impossible de cautionner Hamid Karzai que de quitter l'Afghanistan et de l'abandonner de nouveau aux talibans. Comme le rappelait récemment le ministre canadien des Affaires étrangères, les Occidentaux ne sont pas seulement venu pour tenter d'arrêter Ben Laden, mais pour soutenir les droits de l'homme. et en particulier ceux des femmes. II faut laisser à celles-ci le temps de s'éduquer et de s'émanciper et alors les talibans qui rôdent dans tout le pays n'auront pas pire ennemi qu'elles. Il faudra certainement attendre qu'une nouvelle génération se forme, dépenser beaucoup d'argent et pleurer des morts pour que ce pays art la force de résister aux barbares. Mais c'est à coup sur le seul moyen de rendre aux femmes de cette région la jouissance de leurs droits et peut-être d'éviter au pays le désastre annoncé. Beaucoup aujourd'hui disent le contraire, appellent à se retirer et à baisser les bras implicitement, il laissent à penser que les droits des femmes ne sont pas leur affaire. Il est temps de leur rappeler le mot célèbre de sic Winston Churchill après la reculade de Munich: "Vous croyez avoir sauvé la paix en gardant l'honneur. Vous avez perdu l'honneur et vous aurez la guerre". "AIUTIAMO LE DONNE O PERDEREMO L'AFGHANISTAN" Il Corriere della Sera - 16 aprile 2009 Sassi sulle manifestanti in piazza a Kabul contro la legge pro-stupri. Emma Bonino: "Sbagliato cedere ai talebani sui diritti umani" di Maurizio Caparra Sassi contro le donne a Kabul. Dopo l'approvazione da parte del Parlamento della legge che stabilisce la subordinazione della moglie al marito, e in pratica ne autorizza lo stupro, un gruppo di un centinaio di attiviste per i diritti umani ha manifestato in piazza denunciando "l'insulto alla dignità delle donne" sancito con l'approvazione del testo e scandendo slogano come: "Non vogliamo la legge talebana". Il corteo è stato però preso di mira da un gruppo di circa duecento uomini (tra loro c'erano anche delle donne) che hanno iniziato a lanciare sassi inneggiando alla "giustizia islamica". Un cordone di poliziotti e di poliziotte è riuscito a tenere separati i due gruppi. Il presidente Hamid Karzai, su pressione degli occidentali, ha promesso di rivedere il testo, che riguarda solo la minoranza sciita del Paese. Secondo il presidente afghano, tuttavia, polemiche e preoccupazioni potrebbero risultare da una "traduzione impropria, perfino errata della legge o di una sua cattiva interpretazione". Quella dei sassi lanciati sulle afghane scese in piazza contro la legge sugli obblighi di letto per le mogli sciite è una delle notizie che ci ricordano quanto l'Afghanistan resti diverso da come noi occidentali lo vorremmo. Benché sia giusto difendere i diritti delle donne, non stiamo coltivando più illusioni di quante un sano idealismo ne autorizzerebbe? "Il corpo del Paese è meno retrogrado di quanto sembra. L'Afghanistan ebbe nel 1964 una Costituzione che prevedeva il lavoro delle donne. Non era la Svezia, ma succedeva nel 1964. e prima che i talebani andassero al potere, mentre i maschi erano sempre in guerra, spettava alle afghane tenere in piedi la pubblica amministrazione. Non imponiamo nulla, aiutiamo le afghane che chiedono aiuto. E sui diritti di base non si negozia", risponde Emma Bonino, radicale, vicepresidente del Senato, promotrice di un appello per non far entrare in vigore la legge contestata firmato anche da musulmane, tra le quali il ministro egiziano per la Famiglia Moushira Khattab". L'Amministrazione di Baraci Obama negli Stati Uniti ha ridimensionato le attese: più che prefiggersi di democratizzare l'Afghanistan, come proclamava Gorge W. Bush, punta a neutralizzare il terrorismo. Teme ripercussioni sui diritti come quelli invocati nella manifestazione di ieri? "Bisogna capire che neppure la nostra sicurezza sarebbe salvaguardata se l'Afghanistan tornasse a uno stadio così crudele e reazionario come quando governavano i talebani. Erano stati loro a togliere le ragazze dalle scuole, a proibire i tacchi perché avrebbero sprigionato un rumore erotico, a vietare le calze bianche perché attiravano l'attenzione. Ho letto con preoccupazione un commento di Gideon Rachman sul Financial Times secondo il quale siamo lì per combattere il terrorismo, non per difendere i diritti umani. Non è nemmeno una buona Realpolitik". Chi ha sentito di recente a Kabul? "Martedì, al telefono, Sima Samar, presidente della commissione governativa sui diritti umani. Soprattutto sull'ultima coppia assassinata, due che uscivano insieme senza essere sposati". Attualmente che ne è della legge che imporrebbe alle sciite, consenzienti o meno, il sesso con il marito? "Dopo le sollecitazioni estere il presidente Hamid Karzai ha chiesto ai ministri della Giustizia di valutare se viola la Costituzione. Cerchiamo di riempire questa pausa con l'appello che è su www.npwj.org". Se la legge entrerà in vigore, il ministro della Difesa Ignazio La Russa aveva ipotizzato sul Corriere il ritiro delle militari italiane. "E' importante trovare una posizione univoca della comunità internazionale, senza che ogni Paese faccia le cose sue". AFGHAN WOMEN ARE BEING SOLD OUT FOR THE SAKE OF APPEASEMENT The Financial Times - April 17, 2009 Sir, I read with great interest Gideon Rachman’s article, “Lift the veil on our war aims” (April 14) on the nature of Western presence in Afghanistan but have difficulties agreeing with its conclusions, namely that "we are not fighting for women's rights" but "to prevent the country ever again becoming a base for attacks on the West". If this is the case, couldn’t this aim could be better reached, and in a more lasting manner, if Afghanistan became a democratic society based on the rule of law and on the respect of human rights, including those of women? The real problem with the new Shi’ite Personal Status law is not only the provisions on marital rape, abhorrent as they are; the problem is that it officially relegates women to second class citizens. Even though Karzai has declared his intention to have it reviewed, following resounding condemnation both within and outside Afghanistan, the story does not end here. While a new wind of “reconciliation” and containment is blowing in western chanceries and think-tanks, I strongly believe that we cannot pay the cost of brokering a political truce in Afghanistan with the sacrifice of fundamental rights of women wilfully traded for short-term political gain, in this case the support of hardline Shi’ites ahead of presidential elections later this year. Our servicemen and women should not fight and die in Afghanistan in order to help return to the restrictive, discriminatory practices that existed under Taliban rule. This is why No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Radical Party have launched an international appeal to put the Afghan authorities on notice that the we will continue to watch and that Afghan women will not be sold out for the sake of appeasement (The appeal is available on http://www.npwj.org/). The murder a few days ago of Sitara Achakzai in Kandahar and today's news about stone throwing against women peacefully protesting in Kabul does not bode well for the "modernisers and brave individuals within Afghan society who will fight for women's rights", as Mr Rachman put it. Our total, unflinching support is needed now. Emma Bonino Vice-president of the Italian Senate and founder of No Peace Without Justice LES FEMMES D'AFGHANISTAN NE MÉRITENT PAS MOINS QUE NOTRE SOUTIEN TOTAL ET INDÉFECTIBLE Le Soir - 17 avril 2009 par Emma Bonino* A la suite de l'annonce de la nouvelle loi sur le statut personnel chiite en Afghanistan, beaucoup ont été scandalisés par le fait que celle-ci légalise le viol conjugal. « Le viol matrimonial légal en Afghanistan », tançaient les titres de nombreux quotidiens, et nous avons tous réagi avec stupeur et effroi. A y regarder de plus près, cependant, la loi est en réalité bien pire que ce que nous avions tous pensé. Le véritable problème avec cette loi ne réside pas seulement dans ses dispositions sur le viol conjugal, aussi odieuses soient-elles, mais dans le fait qu'elle relègue officiellement les femmes à des citoyens de second ordre. Cette loi légitime de multiples restrictions quant à la liberté de mouvement des femmes, elle légalise leur soumission aux caprices d'autres personnes, elle les prive de leur mot à dire dans les décisions concernant leurs enfants, et elle leur refuse l'accès à l'éducation et aux soins de santé. Cette négation éhontée des droits humains doit être condamnée – avec force, sans équivoque et de manière universelle. Fort heureusement, à l'occasion de la Conférence internationale sur l'Afghanistan de La Haye et du sommet de l'Otan, qui se sont tenus récemment, les dirigeants du monde ont précisément réagi de la sorte, et l'impact en a été ressenti à Kaboul. A la suite des critiques retentissantes dont cette loi a fait l'objet, tant à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur de l'Afghanistan, le président afghan Hamid Karzaï a déclaré son intention de la faire réviser. Cependant, l'histoire ne s'arrête pas là. Dès lors que ces deux réunions internationales n'occupent plus les premières pages de l'actualité médiatique, nous ne pouvons pas laisser cette question sombrer dans l'oubli. C'est pourquoi « No Peace Without Justice » et le « Parti radical transnational » ont lancé un appel international pour indiquer aux autorités afghanes que le monde continuera à être vigilant et que les femmes afghanes ne seront pas sacrifiées dans un souci d'apaisement diplomatique. Certains disent que cette loi permettrait d'obtenir le soutien de la communauté chiite à quelques mois d'un scrutin présidentiel qui s'annonce difficile pour Karzaï. Mais, alors qu'un nouveau vent de « réconciliation » et d'endiguement souffle au sein des chancelleries et des think tanks occidentaux, nous ne pouvons pas accepter le sacrifice des droits fondamentaux des femmes comme prix à payer pour la négociation d'une trêve politique en Afghanistan. Voir les droits des femmes afghanes traités avec mépris dans la vie quotidienne est déjà assez pénible, mais accepter de voir ces violations codifiées et légitimées, et volontairement négociées en vue de gains politiques à court terme, est vraiment abominable. Nos soldats ne devraient pas se battre et mourir en Afghanistan afin d'aider au retour des pratiques restrictives et discriminatoires qui existaient sous le régime des talibans. Il ne suffit pas de dire, comme beaucoup ont pris soin de le souligner, que cette loi n'étant destinée qu'à la minorité chiite de la population du pays, elle ne s'appliquera qu'à un petit pourcentage de la population féminine de l'Afghanistan. En réalité, cela la rend d'autant plus discriminatoire et son adoption exige l'action de toutes les femmes (et de tous les hommes), qu'ils soient ou non chiites, qu'ils soient ou non Afghans. En effet, l'opinion mondiale ne doit pas être moins choquée par cette perspective, nous devrions, au contraire, tous être verts de rage. Aussi longtemps qu'une femme dans le monde n'est pas reconnue comme le principal arbitre de son intégrité personnelle, ce sont toutes les femmes qui souffrent. La perspective d'une légalisation de telles discriminations devrait inspirer l'horreur et l'indignation de tout un chacun. La nouvelle législation n'est pas seulement une violation directe du droit international, elle contrevient également à nombre de dispositions de la Constitution afghane, dont notamment celle statuant que la « liberté et la dignité de l'être humain sont inviolables ». Certes, la Constitution permet l'application d'une loi en matière de droit familial distincte pour les chiites, mais ceci ne signifie pas donner carte blanche pour saper les droits fondamentaux des femmes ou des hommes chiites. Toute loi en Afghanistan est encore censée respecter la Constitution et le droit international, y compris les dispositions interdisant les discriminations contre les femmes. Cette loi ne le fait pas. Malgré l'annonce que la loi sera soumise à révision, le moment n'est pas à la complaisance. Les nouvelles positives émanant de Kaboul ne sont, tout simplement, pas suffisamment rassurantes. Nous devons maintenir notre indignation et notre vigilance : signer l'appel international, faire part de notre opinion à nos élus et aux autorités afghanes, entreprendre des actions non violentes innovantes. Les femmes d'Afghanistan ne méritent pas moins que notre soutien total et indéfectible. L'appel international est disponible sur http://www.npwj.org * Vice-présidente du Sénat italien AFGHAN WOMEN MARCH, AMERICA TURNS AWAY The New York Times - April 21, 2009 by Nader Nadery and Haseeb Humayoon Last November, extremists on motorbikes opposed to education for women sprayed acid on a group of students from the Mirwais School for Girls in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Several young women were severely burned. Yet it did not take more than a few weeks for even the most cruelly disfigured girls to return to school. Like the crowds of women in Kabul this week who protested a new law that restricts their rights, the Mirwais students demonstrate unbending courage and resolve for progress. They don’t fear much — except that the world might abandon them. That is why President Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy speech last month and his administration’s related white paper are worrisome: both avoided any reference to democracy in Afghanistan, while pointedly pushing democratic reforms in Pakistan. The new policy represents critical shifts — such as a new emphasis on civilian work, and recognizing the regional nature of the problem and the inadequacy and abuse of resources. But a faltering commitment to the democratization of Afghanistan and ambiguous statements from Washington on an exit strategy have left us Afghans scratching our heads. The Obama administration’s bold declaration of what is to be defeated (Al Qaeda) and absence of equal zest for what is to be built (democracy) inspires a sense of déjà vu. The last time the United States was seriously involved in Afghanistan, its goal was the defeat of the Soviet Union. But after that “success,” extremist militias greedy for power brought our society to its knees. In the absence of the rule of law and legitimate and democratic institutions, the militias’ atrocities allowed the Taliban to rise to power and harbor those behind the 9/11 attacks. To defeat the forces of oppression, Washington must promote and protect the ideals of democracy and human rights. It is true that Afghanistan has miles to go before it will be a real democracy. But why won’t the new administration state a commitment to helping us get there? First, with the economic crisis and other domestic priorities, there is a sense in Washington that helping Afghanistan democratize is either a luxury American taxpayers cannot afford or a charitable cause they can delay. This shows a misunderstanding of both what is needed to help Afghans build a real democracy and the lasting interest of the United States. Second, there is a temptation among some in Washington to believe that if the zeal for democratic reform or women’s and minority rights in Afghanistan were relaxed, Taliban insurgents would find “reconciliation” more attractive and the war would end more quickly. This belief is encouraged by the radically conservative forces that have increased their influence since 2005 over the Kabul government, which has been backtracking on its commitment to rights like freedom of the press and equality under the law. This was exemplified by two events last month: the upholding of a 20-year jail sentence given to a young journalist for printing a controversial article from the Internet that was critical of the role traditionally assigned to women in Islam; and President Hamid Karzai’s signing of a law affecting the country’s Shiite minority that places restrictions on when a woman can leave her house and states the circumstances in which she is obliged to have sex with her husband. That law prompted the protests this week in Kabul. It would seem that the escalating violence the country has suffered since 2005 would be a pretty convincing demonstration that giving up ground on democracy and human rights is not helping end this war. Rather, the Taliban has interpreted it as a sign of the weakness of the Afghan government and its international allies. The Afghan public, even as it faces an unpopular and brutal insurgency, is no longer sure if a government that is reluctant to stand up for human rights deserves support. Afghans are also aware that if their government does not honestly commit to judicial and legislative reforms, it will lose American and European public support. Third, and perhaps most important, many Westerners still cling to incorrect assumptions about Afghans, which they use as excuses for abandoning democratization. One such belief is that Afghans are a “tribal people” who probably do not want a say in choosing their leaders. Others claim that because Afghanistan is a traditional Islamic society, any promotion of democracy and women’s rights will be resented as an imposition of Western values. Another much-heard statement is that Afghans are “fierce independent fighters” who mercilessly defy external influence, so the United States better not get bogged down in this “graveyard of empires.” These assumptions are wrong. In our first democratic elections, in October 2004, 11 million Afghans — 41 percent of them women — registered to vote. In a 2008 survey by the Asia Foundation, 76 percent of Afghans responded that democracy was the best form of government. An estimated 10 million people, one-third of the population, live in cities. Almost 65 percent of Afghans are under the age of 25. This dominant generation came of age not under the old tribal structures but in an Afghanistan whose traditional fabrics were torn apart by Soviet tanks and our long civil war. As for women’s rights, the troubles that brewed in Afghanistan during the 1990s — civil war, followed by the Taliban’s totalitarianism and harboring of Al Qaeda — were in great part the result of the female half of our population being deprived of social and political participation. Like everyone else, Afghans crave security, justice, accountability, educational and employment opportunities, and a promise of a future. Democracy and progress are not products to be packaged and exported to Afghanistan. Afghans have to fight for them. Last month, the two of us helped organize “Afghanistan: Ensuring Success,” a conference led by Zalmay Khalilzad, the Afghan-born former United States ambassador to the United Nations. Speakers included Afghans from all walks of life and there was broad agreement that, in the words of President Obama, it was time to “pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off” and strive for genuine democratic progress and self-reliance. But as we approach Afghanistan’s second democratic elections, in August, we cannot afford to have our allies falter — through rhetoric or policy — in supporting our nascent democratic forces. Those brave and burned young women of Kandahar did not give up. How could we? Nader Nadery is a member of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. Haseeb Humayoon, a student at Middlebury College, has worked as a consultant to nongovernmental groups in Afghanistan.





Altri articoli su:
[ Afghanistan ] [ Asia ] [ Asia Meridionale ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ Islam e democrazia ] [ Moushira Khattab ]

Comunicati su:
[ Afghanistan ] [ Asia ] [ Asia Meridionale ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ Islam e democrazia ] [ Moushira Khattab ]

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[ Afghanistan ] [ Asia ] [ Asia Meridionale ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ Islam e democrazia ] [ Moushira Khattab ]


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