Afghan women are strong, bright and resourceful, and even in the toughest situations we are able to take comfort from the beauty God bestows upon us. In Khas Kunar the Taliban could not stop me from hearing the flow of the local river, swollen by recent heavy rain. Nor could they tarnish the taste of the local cornbread and yogurt. But in all corners of Afghanistan it is getting harder for women in particular to hold on to any hope.
The Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” portrays two women who suddenly find themselves divorced in their 70s. Instead of remarrying, they enjoy the single life, something more and more boomer women do as they acknowledge the high costs of marriage.
We don’t want our country to be a playing field for games, great or small, by meddling neighbors or distant hegemons. You can instead respect our rights and sovereignty and see us as empowered people capable of helping ourselves, and the people around us, given a chance.
The Taliban’s newly formed interim cabinet doesn’t include any women. They have banned unauthorized protests and attacked journalists for reporting on them. Yet the protests have continued. The women are fierce. They are not content with simply preserving their rights, they are demanding leadership positions in any new government.
Standing next to the king was his wife, Queen Soraya Tarzi, who was to Amanullah what Khadijah was to the prophet. As her husband finished his speech, the queen smiled and looked at the king with pride and affection as she gently tore off her veil, sending shockwaves throughout Afghan society.
This is a behenchara, a sisterhood that grows stronger with each media attack or attempt to pull it down. Pakistani women have fought the patriarchy for so long and have suffered its consequences too many times. But like before, they have only reemerged stronger for next year.
A string of femicides struck Kuwait over the past year - one in which zero seats were won by women in parliamentary elections, highlighting the intricately systemic obstacles Kuwaiti women face in a country often imagined as a progressive hub in the region.