Waiting for Justice at the Women’s Affairs Office

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One day I went to do an interview with the head of Women’s Affairs in Herat and while I was there a woman waiting there asked me if I was a journalist. 

When I said yes, she asked me if I would write about a disaster in her life so that her story could reach other women around the world and make them aware of how women suffer domestic violence in Afghanistan.

I agreed to listen and while the tears were falling from her face, this woman told me how she had married a man eight years ago and had two daughters.

“From the first days, I was beaten by my husband and he forced me to smoke heroin,” she told me. ”If I refused to smoke, he made me do it anyway. Once he gave me an electric shock to force me to smoke.”

She cried while telling me this story. She said she had suffered other violence as well, but she left her husband’s house two months ago and now she is living with her parents. She came to the Women’s Affairs office because she wanted a divorce.

“I am seeking advocacy at Women Affairs and am waiting for justice,” she said.

I don’t know what happened to this young woman after I met her. The Women’s Affairs office can take such women to stay in a secure house or to the hospital if they have a drug addiction, or they can tell the police about her husband.

But poor women in Afghanistan such as this never receive justice.

By Stooray


Comments

  1. I keep going back to the question when I deployed, “…who exactly did we come to help…”This is a world lost in the dark ages. We have trained females to be pilots yet no planes have left the ground with them in the cockpit. Why? Like anything else, just for show! They rally for independence but not that of the female. They were constantly beaten and raped. They looked to them in my eyes to be lower than some animals. The sweet part is that they totally humbled themselves and spoke of better( not in front of the husbands or elders). They know that their generation is lost but they see it in the eyes of their daughters. It is they who fight for knowledge although it is shunned upon. It carries consequences…like the young lady who was almost killed. Still they look to a better future for themselves. In the end, that is what made sense of all the government’s mess. I pray that they can be liberated.

  2. Dear Stooray,
    Thank you for writing. I think the end of the first commenter’s letter is right: it is only the prayer of understanding that can, and will, liberate this—or any—country.
    With respect, Jeannie

  3. Dearest Stooray: You might not be able to house that woman, or deliver her real justice, but you did a beautiful and graceful thing by listening to her, taking down her story, and sharing it with others. You were a witness. We need witness. And I, too, agree with the first commenter: we need prayer, and the daily visualization of a kinder and gentler (and just!) life. And we need women and men brave enough to act to make this happen. Thank you for sharing her story, Stooray. Stacy

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