As a good sign, a first ever female mart has been opened in the central Bamyan province. Yes, the same Bamyan which made headlines worldwide when the Taliban destroyed Buddha’s largest statue. Opening of the women mart is something one cannot even think about, let alone making it happen. But it has happened now and a reality. It’s a step towards making women enabled to have their say in economic affairs and reduce their economic dependence on male breadwinners. It’s time to acknowledge the reality that women in Afghanistan make 50 percent of the population. Under the law they are citizens with equal rights with men. They have the right to education and political and economic opportunities. But the problem is some men are afraid of women attending schools, working at offices, becoming an artist, or joining air-force. Women, in this country, unfortunately, have always remained subjected to discrimination, deprivation and their voices being suppressed. They need empowerment, an empowerment which is true in essence and seen on the ground rather than the empowerment that decorates lines of books and kept somewhere in a shelf. Their true emancipation is their economic independence and part in decision making.
When a female doctor is there for a female patient and a female teacher is there for girl students why there shouldn’t be a female mart for them? It’s necessary because they would feel free and secure in a female mart and can buy with confidence. To emancipate women, laws that batter anti-feminism mindset should be introduced. Heavy punishments must be framed so that domestic violence could be curbed. Since we are living in the age of globalization where change is inevitable, why Afghan women should be only baby-producing machines. Unfortunately, for longer, their rights have been denied. And whenever an attempt is ever made to liberate and empower them, it has been met with unseen anti-force. Or sometimes, the attempt is made only for media gimmicks and political canvassing. During elections many female contestants complain about insecurity and when they are in the power corridors they say their male colleagues harass them. A female candidate from Kandahar in the 2014 provincial council elections made hue and cry against insecurity for women. She is not the first and the last in this country who has come across such a bad experience, but out there are millions of women deprived of their basic rights. Some of their voices reach to media and are being reported whereas thousands of voices are unheard. Women empowerment in this country is still a distant cry. There are thousands of women whose political, economic, cultural, social and even personal rights are stampeded and they are sustaining all these as a part of pre-written destiny. A destiny which is ascribed to God, but truly written by men, the men who are not yet mentally ready to see women developed and free. In such a situation education comes as a biggest helper and friend. It passively kills such anti-women mindset among men and also enables women to stand up for their rights fearlessly.