The JALAL Foundation is an Afghan Women-led,Women-focused organisation.
“The initial debates of the Parliament on the Elimination of Violence against Women Law (EVAL) provide a clear picture of the political ideologies that dominate our law making bodies and policy system. Clearly, we are ruled by people who have no respect for women’s rights and do not care about the lives and well-being of half of our country’s citizens. In their minds, women are non-entities who do not matter and whose fate lies solely in the hands of men.
The dynamics of the debates represent a preview of what we, Afghan women, are now facing. The grips of extremism are now blatantly showing force at the highest levels of decision making. They are opposing the very provisions of EVAL that are core to the protection of women and their rights. Clearly, they want to put us back to where we were during the Taliban times. It is open season once again on Afghan women’s oppression, gender based violence, and denial of women’s rights. These people will not stop until we lose every space that we gained during the past decade.
But we do not need to remain silent and helpless. Sisters and brothers, supporters of peace, democracy and human rights, we cannot afford to lose our hard fought gains. How many human rights activists and women leaders lost their lives during the past decade to defend the modest gains that we now have? Shall we allow their heroic sacrifices to go to waste by not doing anything while we still can?”