SOC: Petition regarding women in Afghanistan
Sat, 25 Sep 1999 08:17:26 EDT

I received the following on another mailing list. I've signed it and am passing it on here because I believe it serves a very extropic cause:

The government of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women. Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women have had to wear burqua and have been beaten and stoned in public for not having the proper attire, even if this means simply not having the mesh covering in front of their eyes.

One woman was beaten to DEATH by an angry mob of fundamentalists for accidentally exposing her arm while she was driving. Another was stoned to death for trying to leave the country with a man that was not a relative. Women are not allowed to work or even go out in public without a male relative; professional women such as professors, translators, doctors, lawyers, artists and writers have been forced from their jobs and stuffed into their homes, so that depression is becoming so widespread that it has reached emergency levels.

There no way in such an extreme Islamic society to know the suicide rate with certainty, but relief workers are estimating that the suicide rate among women, who cannot find proper medication and treatment for severe depression and would rather take their lives than live in such conditions, has increased significantly.

Homes where a woman is present must have their windows painted so that she can never be seen by outsiders. They must wear silent shoes so that they are never heard. Women live in fear of their lives for the slightest misbehaviour. Because they cannot work, those without male relatives or
husbands are either starving to death or begging on the street, even if they hold Ph.D.'s.

There are almost no medical facilities available for women, and relief workers, in protest, have mostly left the country, taking medicine and psychologists and other things necessary to treat the sky-rocketing level of depression among women. At one of the rare hospitals for women, a reporter found still, nearly lifeless bodies lying motionless on top of beds, wrapped in their burqua, unwilling to speak, eat, or do anything, but slowly wasting away. Others have gone mad and were seen crouched in corners, perpetually rocking or crying, most of them in fear. One doctor
is considering, when what little medication that is left finally runs out, leaving these women in front of the president's residence as a form of peaceful protest.

It is at the point where the term 'human rights violations' has become an understatement. Husbands have the power of life and death over their women relatives, especially their wives, but an angry mob has just as much right to stone or beat a woman, often to death, for exposing an inch of flesh or offending them in the slightest way. Women enjoyed relative freedom, to work, dress generally as they wanted, and drive and appear
in public alone until only 1996. The rapidity of this transition is the main reason for the depression and suicide; women who were once educators or doctors or simply used to basic human freedoms are now severely restricted and treated as sub-human in the name of right-wing fundamentalist Islam. It is not their tradition or 'culture', but
is alien to them, and
it is extreme even for those cultures where fundamentalism is the rule.

Everyone has a right to a tolerable human existence, even if they are women in a Muslim country. If we can threaten military force in Kosovo in the name of human rights for the sake of ethnic Albanians, citizens of the world can certainly express peaceful outrage at the oppression, murder and injustice committed against women by the Taliban.

STATEMENT: In signing this, we agree that the current treatment of women in Afghanistan is completely UNACCEPTABLE and deserves support and action by the United Nations and that the current situation overseas will not be tolerated. Women's Rights is not a small issue anywhere and it is UNACCEPTABLE for women in 1999 to be treated as sub-human and so much as property. Equality and human decency is a RIGHT not a freedom, whether one lives in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

  1. Suzanne Dathe, Grenoble, France
  2. Laurence COMPARAT, Grenoble,France
  3. Philippe MOTTE, Grenoble, France
  4. Jok FERRAND, Mont St Martin, France
  5. Emmanuelle PIGNOL, St Martin d'Heres, FRANCE
  6. Marie GAUTHIER, Grenoble, FRANCE
  7. Laurent VESCALO, Grenoble,FRANCE
  8. Mathieu MOY, St Egreve, FRANCE
  9. Bernard BLANCHET, Mont St Martin, FRANCE
  10. Tassadite FAVRIE, Grenoble, FRANCE
  11. Loic GODARD, St Ismier, FRANCE
  12. Benedicte PASCAL, Grenoble, FRANCE
  13. Khedaidja BENATIA, Grenoble, FRANCE
  14. Marie-Therese LLORET, Grenoble,FRANCE
  15. Benoit THEAU, Poitiers, FRANCE
  16. Bruno CONSTANTIN, Poitiers, FRANCE
  17. Christian COGNARD, Poitiers, FRANCE
  18. Robert GARDETTE, Paris, FRANCE
  19. Claude CHEVILLARD, Montpellier, FRANCE
  20. gilles FREISS, Montpellier, FRANCE
  21. Patrick AUGEREAU, Montpellier, FRANCE.
  22. Jean IMBERT, Marseille, FRANCE
  23. Jean-Claude MURAT, Toulouse, France
  24. Anna BASSOLS, Barcelona, Spain
  25. Mireia DUNACH, Barcelona, Spain
  26. Michel VILLAZ, Grenoble, France
  27. Pages Frederique, Dijon, France
  28. Rodolphe FISCHMEISTER, Chatenay-Malabry,France
  29. Francois BOUTEAU, Paris, France
  30. Patrick PETER, Paris, France
  31. Lorenza RADICI, Paris, France
  32. Monika Siegenthaler, Bern, Switzerland
  33. Mark Philp, Glasgow, Scotland
  34. Tomas Andersson, Stockholm, Sweden
  35. Jonas Eriksson, Stockholm, Sweden
  36. Karin Eriksson, Stockholm, Sweden
  37. Ake Ljung, Stockholm, Sweden
  38. Carina Sedlmayer, Stockholm, Sweden
  39. Rebecca Uddman, Stockholm, Sweden
  40. Lena Skog, Stockholm, Sweden
  41. Micael Folke, Stockholm, Sweden
  42. Britt-Marie Folke, Stockholm, Sweden
  43. Birgitta Schuberth, Stockholm, Sweden
  44. Lena Dahl, Stockholm, Sweden
  45. Ebba Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden
  46. Jessica Carlsson, Vaxjo, Sweden
  47. Sara Blomquist, Vaxjo, Sweden
  48. Magdalena Fosseus, Vaxjo, Sweden
  49. Charlotta Langner, Goteborg, Sweden
  50. Andrea Egedal, Goteborg, Sweden
  51. Lena Persson, Stockholm, Sweden
  52. Magnus Linder, Umea ,Sweden
  53. Petra Olofsson, Umea, Sweden
  54. Caroline Evenbom, Vaxjo, Sweden
  55. Asa Pettersson, Grimsas, Sweden
  56. Jessica Bjork, Grimsas, Sweden
  57. Linda Ahlbom Goteborg, Sweden
  58. Jenny Forsman, Boras, Sweden
  59. Nina Gunnarson, Kinna, Sweden
  60. Andrew Harrison, New Zealand
  61. Bryre Murphy, New Zealand
  62. Claire Lugton, New Zealand
  63. Sarah Thornton, New Zealand
  64. Rachel Eade, New Zealand
  65. Magnus Hjert, London, UK
  66. Madeleine Stamvik, Hurley, UK
  67. Susanne Nowlan, Vermont, USA
  68. Lotta Svenby, Malmoe, Sweden
  69. Adina Giselsson, Malmoe, Sweden
  70. Anders Kullman, Stockholm, Sweden
  71. Rebecka Swane, Stockholm,Sweden
  72. Jens Venge, Stockholm, Sweden
  73. Catharina Ekdahl, Stockholm, Sweden
  74. Nina Fylkegard, Stockholm, Sweden
  75. Therese Stedman, Malmoe, Sweden
  76. Jannica Lund, Stockholm, Sweden
  77. Douglas Bratt
  78. Mats Lofstrom, Stockholm, Sweden
  79. Li Lindstrom, Sweden
  80. Ursula Mueller, Sweden
  81. Marianne Komstadius, Stockholm, Sweden
  82. Peter Thyselius, Stockholm, Sweden
  83. Gonzalo Oviedo, Quito, Ecuador
  84. Amalia Romeo, Gland, Switzerland
  85. Margarita Restrepo, Gland, Switzerland
  86. Eliane Ruster, Crans p.C., Switzerland
  87. Jennifer Bischoff-Elder, Hong Kong
  88. Azita Lashgari, Beirut, Lebanon
  89. Khashayar Ostovany, New York, USA
  90. Lisa L Miller, Reno NV
  91. Danielle Avazian, Los Angeles, CA
  92. Sara Risher, Los Angeles, Ca.
  93. Melanie London, New York, NY
  94. Susan Brownstein , Los Angeles, CA
  95. Steven Raspa, San Francisco, CA
  96. Margot Duane, Ross, CA
  97. Natasha Darnall, Los Angeles, CA
  98. Candace Brower, Evanston, IL
  99. James Kjelland, Evanston, IL
  100. Michael Jampole, Beach Park, IL, USA
  101. Diane Willis, Wilmette, IL, USA
  102. Sharri Russell, Roanoke, VA, USA
  103. Faye Cooley, Roanoke, VA, USA
  104. Natalie Edwards, Charlottesville VA USA
  105. Cyndy Williams, Charlottesville, VA USA
  106. Donna Hall, Lynchburg, Va USA
  107. Robin Hinkle, Lynchburg, VA USA
  108. George Vass Venice, FL USA
  109. Martha Ferris, Moncks Corner, SC USA
  110. Teresa Smith, Charleston, SC, USA
  111. Terry Longo, Orlando, FL, USA
  112. Charlotte Downs, Orlando, FL, USA
  113. Laura M. Connaughton, Orlando, FL USA
  114. Ronit Doran, Tel Aviv, Israel
  115. Iris Berenstein, Johannesburg, South Africa
  116. Lynne Jeffreys, Johannesburg, South Africa
  117. Sharon van Heerden, Johannesburg, South Africa
  118. Lizelle Mc Mahon, Johannesburg, South Africa
  119. Frik du Toit Suid Afrika
  120. Glenda Warrin, Cape Town, South Africa
  121. Andrew le Roux, Cape Town, South Africa
  122. Nathea Beukes, Cape Town, South Africa
  123. Johan Wiesner, Toowoomba, Australia
  124. Retha Wiesner, Toowoomba, Australia
  125. Leon de Villiers, Toowoomba, Australia
  126. Leslie Willmers, Cape Town, South Africa
  127. Wayne Jacobs, Cape Town, South Africa
  128. Davlynne Lidbetter, Cape Town, South Africa
  129. Gunnar Blondal, Oslo, Norway
  130. Hjortur Blondal, Reykjavik, Iceland
  131. Hordur Sigurjonsson, Reykjavik, Iceland
  132. Barbara Eriksson, Gislaved, Sweden
  133. Henry Z, Denmark
  134. Helle S, Denmark
  135. Wiktor S, Denmark
  136. Ilona K, Kitimat, Canada
  137. Katherine Vinluan-Arellano, Philippines
  138. Toby Pedersen, Arkansas, USA
  139. Nancy Pedersen, Longview, TX, USA
  140. Renee' Golden, Kilgore, TX, USA
  141. Linda Hill, Longview, TX, USA
  142. Vicki Flaris, Longview, TX, USA
  143. James D. Rapp, Limassol, CYPRUS.
  144. Cherylin Masters,Wilshire, England
  145. Kevin Anderson, Wiltshire, England
  146. Nigel Stenner, Bristol, England
  147. Owen Dyke, Bath, England.
  148. Sylvie Harris, Bristol, England.
  149. Sandrine Pillon, Wokingham, England
  150. Clare Batup, Wokingham, England
  151. Julie Simcock, Hurst, England
  152. Nigel Williams, London, England
  153. J.Truscott, England
  154. Tina Bartlett-Game, Orlando, FL USA
  155. Loretta Greenhalgh, London, UK
  156. Arun Kumar, London, UK
  157. Gary McFeat, London, UK
  158. Dean Ervik, Sydney, Australia
  159. Mina Ervik, Sydney, Australia
  160. Tom King,Sydney,Australia
  161. Adrian King, Sydney, Australia
  162. Aaron Rogers, Sydney, Australia
  163. Dorian Moore, London, UK
  164. Gerry Leeper, Edinburgh, UK
  165. Diane Simpson, Chester, UK
  166. Anne Collins, Welshpool, Mid Wales, UK
  167. Marylin Dixon, Solihull, UK
  168. Roger Davies, Abergavenny, UK
  169. Greg Burch, Houston, Texas, USA

PLEASE COPY this email on to a new message,sign the bottom and forward it. If you receive this list with more than 200 names on it, please e-mail a copy of it to: <> Send after every 200 names.)

Even if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not kill the petition. Thank you. It is best to copy rather than forward the petition.