Women Arise – Afghanistan

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by Journeyman Pictures, August 24, 2009

women-arise-afghanistan‘The Sex Law’ may have been watered down but forced marriage, domestic violence and rape still define life for most Afghan women. Now a fledgling women’s rights movement is determined to change that legacy.

It’s more than 8 years since the Taliban ruled Herat but for many women here, life has barely changed. In this refuge called Voice of Women, Suraya tries to combat the abuse of women under President Karzai.

“Forced and child marriage has not reduced since 2001. Its still a common practice,” says Suraya. For those not lucky enough to make it to her shelter, prison is the alternative. Young girls are charged with running away from home and adultery.

“Here rape is considered adultery,” reveals Suraya. Twelve-year-old Nadia says she “doesnt know how to live” anymore after being raped and charged with adultery.

Earlier this year President Karzai passed a law stopping women from going out without men, restricted their power of divorce and enforced sex at least every four days. He reviewed the law after local and international pressure. But for those brave enough to fight for women’s rights, the stakes are getting higher – the Taliban are targeting and assassinating activists.

“I would like to suffer today for women’s rights,” says Suraya. Will the womens rights movement be able to turn the democratic process to their advantage?

You can view this film at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpFP5-gsehY.

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