March 8th is the International Women’s Day. The Afghans are celebrating the achievements of so many women who are determined and never bow down to the social taboos to make their country a better place not only for them, but to all Afghans. The global theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “Women in Leadership: Achieving and equal future in a COVID-19 world”. But in Afghanistan, not only the pandemic but war, poverty, injustice, patriarchal society and other sinister behavior against women, have had a profound impact on women and girls. We are still away from making an inclusive society, with women at the forefront. Not only support, but the Afghan women need protections from all sorts of discrimination whether it’s domestic violence, or society inequality or systematic attempt to once again plug and force them to stay at home and vanish all their last 20 years achievement in an unpleasant way. Women went through a dark period in a land called Afghanistan. Still public execution continues, and in Taliban-controlled areas they can’t go out without male partner. Women have rendered huge sacrifices in the course of history for their fundamental and legal rights. After the collapse of the Taliban regime, the Afghan women said no to the narrative of failing and immediately able to gain the right to education, the right to political participation, the right to self-determination and the right to work outside the home. Today we have female ministers, members of parliament, female ambassadors, female judges, female spokesman, female police officers, female doctors, and female journalists. They are almost everywhere, even we have female peace negotiators who are engaged in talks with the Taliban, a group once banned them for all of their rights and public activities. Society has changed a lot, but not wholly. Still women’s progress is unbearable for some groups. Last week, three female journalists were gunned down by terrorists in Nangarhar. Three female judges were killed in Kabul almost two months ago. Still there are some people, even some religious scholars who are promoting strict rules on women, which are in contrast even with the Islam teachings. But they cannot suffocate their voice. It’s really an important day to congratulate and celebrate the incredible courage, beauty, talent, and a big salute to their determined bravery. They are standing tall against all odds from terror to target killing, from domestic violence to gender inequality, of course from poverty to ignorance. But none of these ever can take their shining face and strong resolve to fight for their rights.