Arthur Bueno on Sat, 4 Sep 1999 01:34:04 +0200


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Syndicate: Petition for support to women in Afghanistan


Subject: Petition for support to women in Afghanistan
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 21:33:23 +0200


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Please spare a minute to read this mail. Thank you.

The government of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women. The
situation
>is
>getting so bad that one person in an editorial of the Times compared
>the
>treatment of women there to the treatment of Jews in pre-Holocaust
>Poland.
>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 is 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 misbehavior. 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.
>David Cornwell has said that those in the West should not judge the =
>Afghan
>people for such treatment because it is a 'cultural thing', but
>>this
>>is not even true. 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 same 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. Besides, if =
we
>could
>excuse everything on cultural grounds, then we should not be
>>appalled
>>that the Carthaginians sacrificed their infant children, that little
>>girls
>>are circumcised in parts of Africa, that blacks in the US deep south =
in
>>the
>>1930's were lynched, prohibited from voting, and forced to submit to
>>unjust
>>Jim Crow laws. Everyone has a right to a tolerable human existence, =
even
>>if
>>they are women in a Muslim  country in a part of the world that
>>Westerners
>>may not understand. If Iife can threaten military force in Kosovo in =
the
>name
>of human rights for the sake of ethnic Albanians, then NATO and the
>>West 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 =
people
>>of
>>the United Nations and that the current situation in Afghanistan 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 anywhere else.
>
>1)  Marianne Giroud, Zurich, Switzerland
>2)  Vera Koehli, Zurich, Switzerland
>3)  Hartmut Stiess, Zurich, Switzerland
>4)  Michael Sturm, Zurich, Switzerland
>5)  Adrian Jakob, Berne, Switzerland
>6)  Christian Jakob, Zurich, Switzerland
>7)  Barbara Rieker, Zurich, Switzerland
>8)  Chiara Lo Presti, Zurich, Switzerland
>9)  Kathrin Koch, Zurich, Switzerland
>10) Gudrun Wassermann, Schvnkirchen, Germany
>11) Maret Arndt, Kiel, Germany
>12) Peter Bartels, Itzehoe, Germany
>13) Priv.Doz. Dr. Fred Stevenson
>14) Jeff Hollifield, Greenville, SC, USA
>15) Irma Wolf, Berlin, Germany
>16) Fiona Koster, Groningen, The Netherlands
>17) Marlies Bodde, Groningen, The Netherlands
>18) Jannie Van der Meer, Groningen, The Netherlands
>19) Klaske Sikkes, Groningen, The Netherlands
>20) Wietske Sikkes, Groningen, The Netherlands
>21) Marjanne le Clercq, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
>22)  Susan le Clercq, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
23) Sandra A=EFdara, Paris, France

>Please sign to support, and include your town and country. Then copy
>and
>e-mail to as many people as possible. If you receive this list with
>more
>than 50 names on it, please e-mail a
>copy of it to:
>>
>>Mary Robinson,
>>High Commissioner,
>>UNHCHR, webadmin.hchr@unorg.ch <<<mailto:webadmin.hchr@unorg.ch>
>>
>>and to:
>>
>>Angela King,
>>Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, UN,
>>daw@undp.org <<<mailto:daw@undp.org>
>>
>>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.
>>
>>

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<DIV>
<DIV>Please spare a minute to read this mail. Thank you.<BR><BR>The =
government=20
of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women.=20
The<BR>situation<BR>&gt;is<BR>&gt;getting so bad that one person in an =
editorial=20
of the Times compared<BR>&gt;the<BR>&gt;treatment of women there to the=20
treatment of Jews in pre-Holocaust<BR>&gt;Poland.<BR>&gt;Since the =
Taliban took=20
power in 1996, women have had to wear burqua<BR>&gt;and have been beaten =
and=20
stoned in public for not having the proper attire,<BR>&gt;even =
if<BR>&gt;this=20
means simply not having the mesh covering in front of=20
their<BR>&gt;eyes.<BR>&gt;One<BR>&gt;woman was beaten to DEATH by an =
angry mob=20
of<BR>&gt;fundamentalists for accidentally exposing her arm while she=20
was<BR>&gt;driving.<BR>&gt;&gt;Another was stoned to death for trying to =
leave=20
the country with a man<BR>&gt;&gt;that<BR>&gt;&gt;was not a relative. =
Women are=20
not allowed to work or even go out =
in<BR>&gt;&gt;public<BR>&gt;&gt;without a=20
male relative; professional women such as=20
professors,<BR>&gt;&gt;translators,<BR>&gt;&gt;doctors, lawyers, artists =
and=20
writers have been forced from their =
jobs<BR>&gt;&gt;and<BR>&gt;&gt;stuffed into=20
their homes, so that depression is becoming so=20
widespread<BR>&gt;&gt;that<BR>&gt;&gt;it has reached emergency levels. =
There is=20
no way in such an extreme<BR>&gt;&gt;Islamic<BR>&gt;&gt;society to know =
the=20
suicide rate with certainty, but relief workers =
are<BR>&gt;&gt;estimating that=20
the suicide rate among women, who cannot find =
proper<BR>&gt;&gt;medication and=20
treatment for severe depression and would rather=20
take<BR>&gt;&gt;their<BR>&gt;&gt;lives than live in such conditions, has =

increased significantly. Homes<BR>&gt;&gt;where<BR>&gt;&gt;a woman is =
present=20
must have their windows painted so that she can=20
never<BR>&gt;&gt;be<BR>&gt;&gt;seen by outsiders. They must wear silent =
shoes so=20
that they are never<BR>&gt;heard.<BR>&gt;&gt;Women live in fear=20
of<BR>&gt;&gt;their lives for the slightest misbehavior. Because&nbsp; =
they=20
cannot work,<BR>&gt;&gt;those<BR>&gt;&gt;without male relatives or =
husbands are=20
either starving to death or<BR>&gt;&gt;begging<BR>&gt;&gt;on the street, =
even if=20
they hold Ph.D.'s. There are almost no medical<BR>&gt;&gt;facilities =
available=20
for women, and relief workers, in protest,=20
have<BR>&gt;&gt;mostly<BR>&gt;&gt;left the country, taking medicine and=20
psychologists and other things<BR>&gt;necessary<BR>&gt;to treat the=20
sky-rocketing level of depression among women. =
At<BR>&gt;&gt;one<BR>&gt;&gt;of=20
the rare hospitals for women,&nbsp; a reporter found still,=20
nearly<BR>&gt;&gt;lifeless<BR>&gt;&gt;bodies lying motionless on top of =
beds,=20
wrapped in their burqua,<BR>&gt;&gt;unwilling<BR>&gt;&gt;to speak, eat, =
or do=20
anything, but slowly wasting away. Others have=20
gone<BR>&gt;&gt;mad<BR>&gt;&gt;and were seen crouched in corners, =
perpetually=20
rocking or crying, most<BR>&gt;&gt;of<BR>&gt;&gt;them in fear. One =
doctor is=20
considering, when what little medication<BR>&gt;&gt;that =
is<BR>&gt;&gt;left=20
finally runs out, leaving these women in front of the=20
president's<BR>&gt;&gt;residence as a form of peaceful protest. It is at =
the=20
point where the<BR>&gt;&gt;term<BR>&gt;&gt;'human rights violations' has =
become=20
an understatement. Husbands have<BR>&gt;&gt;the<BR>&gt;&gt;power of life =
and=20
death over their women relatives, especially=20
their<BR>&gt;&gt;wives,<BR>&gt;&gt;but an angry mob has just as much =
right to=20
stone or beat a woman, often<BR>&gt;&gt;to<BR>&gt;&gt;death, for =
exposing an=20
inch of flesh or offending them in the =
slightest<BR>&gt;way.<BR>&gt;David=20
Cornwell has said that those in the West should not judge the=20
&gt;Afghan<BR>&gt;people for such treatment because it is a 'cultural =
thing',=20
but<BR>&gt;&gt;this<BR>&gt;&gt;is not even true. Women enjoyed relative =
freedom,=20
to work, dress<BR>&gt;&gt;generally<BR>&gt;&gt;as they wanted, and drive =
and=20
appear in public alone until only 1996 =
-<BR>&gt;&gt;the<BR>&gt;&gt;rapidity of=20
this transition is the main reason for the depression =
and<BR>&gt;&gt;suicide;=20
women who were once educators or doctors or simply used=20
to<BR>&gt;&gt;basic<BR>&gt;&gt;human freedoms are now severely =
restricted=20
and<BR>&gt;&gt;treated as sub-human in the same of right-wing =
fundamentalist=20
Islam. It<BR>&gt;&gt;is<BR>&gt;&gt;not their tradition or 'culture', but =
is=20
alien to them, and it is<BR>&gt;&gt;extreme<BR>&gt;&gt;even for those =
cultures=20
where fundamentalism is the rule. Besides, if =
we<BR>&gt;could<BR>&gt;excuse=20
everything on cultural grounds, then we should not=20
be<BR>&gt;&gt;appalled<BR>&gt;&gt;that the Carthaginians sacrificed =
their infant=20
children, that little<BR>&gt;&gt;girls<BR>&gt;&gt;are circumcised in =
parts of=20
Africa, that blacks in the US deep south =
in<BR>&gt;&gt;the<BR>&gt;&gt;1930's=20
were lynched, prohibited from voting, and forced to submit=20
to<BR>&gt;&gt;unjust<BR>&gt;&gt;Jim Crow laws. Everyone has a right to a =

tolerable human existence, even<BR>&gt;&gt;if<BR>&gt;&gt;they are women =
in a=20
Muslim&nbsp; country in a part of the world=20
that<BR>&gt;&gt;Westerners<BR>&gt;&gt;may not understand. If Iife can =
threaten=20
military force in Kosovo in the<BR>&gt;name<BR>&gt;of human rights for =
the sake=20
of ethnic Albanians, then NATO and the<BR>&gt;&gt;West can certainly =
express=20
peaceful outrage at the oppression, =
murder<BR>&gt;&gt;and<BR>&gt;&gt;injustice=20
committed against women by the=20
Taliban.<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;STATEMENT:<BR>&gt;&gt;In signing this, =
we agree=20
that the current treatment of women =
in<BR>&gt;&gt;Afghanistan<BR>&gt;&gt;is=20
completely UNACCEPTABLE and deserves support and action by the=20
people<BR>&gt;&gt;of<BR>&gt;&gt;the United Nations and that the current=20
situation in Afghanistan will<BR>&gt;&gt;not be<BR>&gt;&gt;tolerated. =
Women's=20
Rights is not a small issue anywhere and it =
is<BR>&gt;UNACCEPTABLE<BR>&gt;for=20
women in 1999 to be treated as sub-human and so much =
as<BR>&gt;&gt;property.=20
Equality and human decency is a RIGHT not a freedom,=20
whether<BR>&gt;one<BR>&gt;lives in Afghanistan or anywhere=20
else.<BR>&gt;<BR>&gt;1)&nbsp; Marianne Giroud, Zurich,=20
Switzerland<BR>&gt;2)&nbsp; Vera Koehli, Zurich, =
Switzerland<BR>&gt;3)&nbsp;=20
Hartmut Stiess, Zurich, Switzerland<BR>&gt;4)&nbsp; Michael Sturm, =
Zurich,=20
Switzerland<BR>&gt;5)&nbsp; Adrian Jakob, Berne, =
Switzerland<BR>&gt;6)&nbsp;=20
Christian Jakob, Zurich, Switzerland<BR>&gt;7)&nbsp; Barbara Rieker, =
Zurich,=20
Switzerland<BR>&gt;8)&nbsp; Chiara Lo Presti, Zurich,=20
Switzerland<BR>&gt;9)&nbsp; Kathrin Koch, Zurich, Switzerland<BR>&gt;10) =
Gudrun=20
Wassermann, Schvnkirchen, Germany<BR>&gt;11) Maret Arndt, Kiel,=20
Germany<BR>&gt;12) Peter Bartels, Itzehoe, Germany<BR>&gt;13) Priv.Doz. =
Dr. Fred=20
Stevenson<BR>&gt;14) Jeff Hollifield, Greenville, SC, USA<BR>&gt;15) =
Irma Wolf,=20
Berlin, Germany<BR>&gt;16) Fiona Koster, Groningen, The =
Netherlands<BR>&gt;17)=20
Marlies Bodde, Groningen, The Netherlands<BR>&gt;18) Jannie Van der =
Meer,=20
Groningen, The Netherlands<BR>&gt;19) Klaske Sikkes, Groningen, The=20
Netherlands<BR>&gt;20) Wietske Sikkes, Groningen, The =
Netherlands<BR>&gt;21)=20
Marjanne le Clercq, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands<BR>&gt;22)&nbsp; Susan le =
Clercq,=20
Nieuwegein, The Netherlands</DIV>
<DIV>23) Sandra A&iuml;dara, Paris, France<BR><BR>&gt;Please sign to =
support,=20
and include your town and country. Then copy<BR>&gt;and<BR>&gt;e-mail to =
as many=20
people as possible. If you receive this list =
with<BR>&gt;more<BR>&gt;than 50=20
names on it, please e-mail a<BR>&gt;copy of it =
to:<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;Mary=20
Robinson,<BR>&gt;&gt;High Commissioner,<BR>&gt;&gt;UNHCHR, <A=20
href=3D"mailto:webadmin.hchr@unorg.ch";>webadmin.hchr@unorg.ch</A> =
&lt;&lt;&lt;<A=20
href=3D"mailto:webadmin.hchr@unorg.ch";>mailto:webadmin.hchr@unorg.ch</A>&=
gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;and=20
to:<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;Angela King,<BR>&gt;&gt;Special Advisor on =
Gender=20
Issues and the Advancement of Women, UN,<BR>&gt;&gt;<A=20
href=3D"mailto:daw@undp.org";>daw@undp.org</A> &lt;&lt;&lt;<A=20
href=3D"mailto:daw@undp.org";>mailto:daw@undp.org</A>&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&=
gt;&gt;Even=20
if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not =
kill<BR>&gt;&gt;the=20
petition. Thank you.<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;It is best to copy rather =
than=20
forward the petition.<BR>&gt;&gt;<BR>&gt;&gt;</DIV></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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Arthur Bueno
V2_Organisatie Rotterdam
Eendrachtsstraat 10
3012 XL Rotterdam
tel. 010.206.7272
url: www.v2.nl
fax. 010.206.7271


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