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Editorial: Mantra of violence

Violence against women is a serious issue which has been left by the relevant authorities unaddressed, though they often repeat the mantra and give false hopes. Since ouster of the Taliban from power in 2001, participation of women has increased in the governmental and non-government organizations but the target of equality has not been achieved yet. Several women are running businesses successfully. Doors of girl schools opened. These are the achievements, no doubt. But, violence against women is threatening these gains. Forces and early marriages are not the only serious challenges that prevented girls and women from active participation in development of the country. Physical, verbal and sexual abuses are other major issues that should be addressed by the government.

It is also very unfortunate that some men—driven by insanity and illiteracy—are beating, insulting and torturing women. Hundreds of women were killed by spouses since fall of the Taliban’s regime. As family is a basic unit of society, therefore, domestic violence badly affects children. How can we expect the children to be creative when they are growing in families where couples regularly fight? Only friendly environment builds confidence of children over their parents. Love and care between grown family-members encourage children to excel in studies. We cannot expect our children to be genius when we are dragging their attention towards violence in the family. We are scaring our children.

Therefore, violence against women is a serious issue which is affecting the coming generation. We are pinning hopes on the generation which is always praying for strengthening of mutual bond between their parents. Such children will not perform better in schools and sports field. They will hate either of their parents, mostly father, because they are by nature innocent and support oppressed against the aggressors. Fighting violence against women should be taken as a serious business by all segments of the society. Leaving the job only to the government would not placate the situation.

Therefore, religious schools, teachers, intellectuals, opinion leaders, tribal elders, rights activists and journalists should join hands to launch a nationwide long-term awareness campaign to fight violence against women. Religious scholars have the most powerful platform—pulpit in the mosques to speak from—and their message is always welcomed. Thus, they shall take the first step. Second, teachers should educate the children to speak against violence in their families. Children, teenager and university students can play important role in keeping the family united. They can also put their share in combating street harassment. Media should highlight the cases of violence against women. It will help to bring positive change in the society. Without elimination of violence against women, Afghanistan will not emerge as a developed country on the world map.

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