Nov 22, 2011

Being Disable Is Not An Unability

Ten years ago, the Afghan government and its international allies pledged to advance women’s rights following the military intervention to oust the Taliban. Millions of Afghan women and girls have seen progress in their lives since 2001: two-and-a-half million girls are enrolled in school, women can work outside their homes and the constitution grants women and men equal legal status.

But many Afghan women now fear their rights will be sacrificed as the Afghan government and its international partners seek a political settlement with the Taliban. The Taliban have an appalling record of human rights abuses both in government and as insurgents. Today, in areas under their control, the Taliban have severely curtailed the rights of women and girls, including the denial of education, employment, freedom of movement and political participation.

Yesterday I met a woman having an iron stick under her hand and walking so slowly. It was at 6.30 pm. She was one the first Afghan women that I saw using a stick to walk. I didn’t know how start communicating with her, since culturally it is hard to communicate with Afghan women when you are a man. Fortunately, my sister was with me. She could do me a favor.

First my sister went up to her began talking. She accepted my sister easily. After a while my sister nodded toward me to join them. I asked her what happened that she lost her leg and she said the following:

“we had a good life and all of my family members were happy enjoying the life, although it was war era. Devastated situation was created when Mojahidin come to exist. It was the beginning of the time that misery and evil stepped in our country. Hundreds of thousand people were migrated, some were killed and others stayed in their homes.”

She added:” Thanks to God that the life is ever-changing and nothing is forever but Allah. During the war among different parties and sides, another violent and severe group came to exist – Taliban. In 1996, I was studying in grade 10 in Rokhshan High School. During such horrific days, one rocket was smashed to the block of our school and three people were killed and nine other were wounded. I was one the victims. After a while, an ambulance appeared and took us to the Red Cross Hospital in Kate 3.”

She is sighing:” When the rocket smashed to the block, everything became black and I fell down. And when I opened my eyes I felt irritating pain. It was so late when I felt recovered because I wasn’t like past time. I no longer was a girl like others. One of my leg went nowhere. At first it was so annoying for me and people teased me as a “Disable”, but day by day I thought to myself that it was from God and I always thank him because he knows better.”

“ then I was taken to surgery room for artificial leg implanting. After a while I felt another leg in my body that would help me a lot. Now I am working in a private hospital as the physiotherapist and I love my job.”

By Basir Bita