Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘women in Afghanistan



A few Badass women

1. The woman who launched Saudi Arabia’s first all-woman law firm.

 Stringer / Reuters

Bayan Mahmoud al-Zahran opened the country’s first female law firm, where she’ll represent women and bring women’s rights issues into the courts. (which one is Bayan?)

“I believe women lawyers can contribute a lot to the legal system,” al-Zahran said. “This law firm will make a difference in the history of court cases and female disputes in the Kingdom. I am very hopeful and thank everyone who supported me in taking this historical step.”

2. The woman who became a symbol of the fight against fracking in Canada.

Amanda Polchies got on her knees to pray at an anti-fracking protest in New Brunswick, Canada, holding up her “weapon” at armed police: a feather. (What is fracking? oil schist exploitation?)

The woman was then turned into a meme on the internet: the Woman With Eagle Feather.

Gregg Deal

3. The Brazillian women who protested against rape in powerful photos after 65% of respondents in a survey agreed that “if dressed provocatively, women deserve to be attacked and raped”.

“Whether I’m in a burqa or naked, I don’t deserve to be raped.” (But try to be smarter in public?)

4. The 600 volunteers who added 101 female artists to Wikipedia.

The volunteers who took part in the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon added in the names of female artists who deserved to be recognised. (Like whom?)

5. The women in Afghanistan who defied death threats from the Taliban by taking part in elections. (Did she win?)

Impressive women turn out in western Kabul. #afghanelection

Bad ass women alert. RT @euamiri: Impressive women turn out in western Kabul. #afghanelection

6. The 13-year-old girl who called out a surfing magazine for its depiction of women.


Here’s the letter Olive Bowers sent to Tracks magazine:

Dear Tracks Surf Magazine,

I want to bluntly address the way you represent women in your magazine. I am a surfer, my dad surfs and my brother has just started surfing.

Reading a Tracks magazine I found at my friend’s holiday house, the only photo of a woman I could find was ”Girl of the month”.

She wasn’t surfing or even remotely near a beach. Since then I have seen some footage of Stephanie Gilmore surfing on your website, but that’s barely a start.

I clicked on your web page titled ”Girls” hoping I might find some women surfers and what they were up to, but it entered into pages and pages of semi-naked, non-surfing girls.

These images create a culture in which boys, men and even girls reading your magazine will think that all girls are valued for is their appearance.

My posse of female surfers and I are going to spread the word and refuse to purchase or promote Tracks magazine. It’s a shame that you can’t see the benefits of an inclusive surf culture that in fact, would add a whole lot of numbers to your subscription list.

I urge you to give much more coverage to the exciting women surfers out there, not just scantily clad women (who may be great on the waves, but we’ll never know).

I would subscribe to your magazine if only I felt that women were valued as athletes instead of dolls. This change would only bring good.


7. The first woman to take part in a Formula One race weekend in 22 years.

Phil Noble / Reuters

Susie Wolff, you are a badass.

8. The American nuns who announced their support for contraception. (Can’t get any younger?)

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

The National Coalition of American Nuns said: “We want to make clear that the sin is not a person using birth control. The sin is denying women the right and the means to plan their families.”

9. The 13-year-old girl who became the youngest climber to scale Mount Everest.

Malavath Poorna said: “I come from a very poor family… Climbing the Everest was certainly more difficult than I thought – but my willpower to prove that a tribal girl can do something kept me going.”

10. The woman who beat the women’s *and* men’s record for most consecutive marathons after running 53 of them.

“If someone suggested running a 54th marathon I probably would to be honest,” Amy Hughes said.

11. The first-ever female air-guitar champion was crowned in the UK.

Winner Charlotte Clarke said: “It feels absolutely amazing to win because ever since I started I’ve wanted to be the first female champion.”

12. The first time a woman won the Fields maths medal happened.

News1 / Reuters

Professor Maryam Mirzakhani, you are amazing.

13. The first Woman Party was established in Turkey to seek equal political representation for women.

Umit Bektas / Reuters

Benal Yazgan, the chair of the party, said: “Once again, hegemony is being passed from man to man. The patriarchy is the same; they always leave women out and pass the roles amongst themselves.” (Just include in the bylaws that only women can get the top posts and avoid discriminating against genders)

14. This runner killing it in a 4×400 relay race. JUST LOOK AT HER RUN.

Floria Guei won the final leg of the 4×400m race at the European Championships in August.

15. The Saudi women who participated in the #Women2Drive campaign this year, defying a ban on women being allowed to drive in their country.

16. When Indian actress Mallika Sherawat shut down a reporter for asking her to stay silent on the issue of women’s rights.

17. The hundreds of women in Kenya that protested on the streets in Nairobi after a woman was attacked and stripped by men in public who believe she was “dressed indecently” for wearing a mini skirt.

Noor Khamis / Reuters

The women were demanding justice and defending their right to wear what they want. (What movement started first? Brazil or Kenya?)

18. When actor Maisie Williams called out the entertainment industry for trying to make her regret wearing the same dress twice.

Are there levels of seriousness for rape? How many kinds of rapes are you aware of?

Suppose you are in a party with a boyfriend and he decides to take you by force in front of the people around. You are screeming: No, No…People are watching the raping unfold and refuse to intervene… Is that scene an individual problem or a community cultural problem? If this event affects the girl from further engaging in serious relationship, how serious was the raping episod?

Suppose you are threatened to be raped (regardless of genders) or raping one of your family members if you refuse to divulge pieces of intelligence or follow orders…Is raping the mind and the spirit an act of rape?

Suppose you live in a society when raping with the “intention” of asking for marriage (indeed asking the girl in marriage afterward) is absolved, what message this custom sends? If I want to marry a girl and she refuses, then I might as well rape her…?

Suppose you were gang raped:

1. By a group you are familiar with and hang out with

2. A group you don’t know

3. By police force as you step out of your home

4. By police force inside your home

5. By police force while in prison

Is being gang raped much worse than being raped by a single person?

Is raping closely associated with the consequences in a given community customs?

1. Being forced to commit suicide in order to “save” the community “honor”

2. Being asked to vacate the family premises and be exiled to other location

3. Forced to marry the rapist

4. Be banished from the community for the remaining of your life…

Is rape a personal matter, and if no one in the party lodge a legal complaint, then should the case be dismissed?

If statistics reveil that 90% of girls are raped in a particular society at one time during their lifetime, should the legal system be comprehensive and lenient on rape cases?

If it is demonstrated that more adolescent boys have been raped throughout history than grown up women…?

Should every case of rape have its proper term in the vocabulary? Why having a language if it fails to develop and demonstrate the progress, seriousness of behaviors, and interest in social and custom development…?

Dalia, Emma, Alaphia, Ricken, Laura, Antonia and the rest of the Avaaz team published this appeal:

“18 year-old Lal Bibi was kidnapped, raped, tortured and chained to a wall for five days by a gang of powerful Afghan police officers. But she stood up to do what women in Afghanistan are told not to: Lal is fighting back.

Local custom in some parts of Afghanistan dictates that women are shamed by rape and must kill themselves to restore their family’s honour for generations to come.  Lal Bibi and her family courageously are seeking to save her life by insisting on the prosecution of her torturers and shifting the blame to the perpetrators, in society’s eyes.

According to deep cultural mandates, as a raped woman, Lal Bibi has been “dishonoured” and will kill herself — and she publicly says she must, unless her rapists are brought to justice to restore her honour and dignity.

There are hundreds of women and girls all across Afghanistan who are subject to the “tribal justice” meted out to Lal Bibi. Thousands more are watching carefully to see how the Afghan government and the world will respond to the girl who is fighting back and refuses to die quietly

Afghanistan’s justice system routinely fails to pursue these cases, and so far the chief suspects in Lal Bibi’s case have not been prosecuted.  Every day that passes without an arrest pushes Lal Bibi closer to suicide …

This weekend, the US, UK, Japan and other major donors are expected to pledge 4 billion dollars to Afghanistan.  A big portion of this money will pay for the very police forces responsible for Lal Bibi’s rape.

An international outcry might shame donor countries into action, conditioning their aid on real action to fight rape and protect women.

The Afghan police force responsible for the rape depends heavily on foreign funding that will be pledged this weekend, when all of Afghanistan’s major donors gather in Tokyo.

Donor countries can and should require that funds are not spent to grow a police force that acts with appalling impunity and that police officers work to protect women, not attack them!

The global war on women is relentless. But time and time again our community joins together to win. We helped stop the illegal stoning of Sakineh Ashtiani in Iran, and fought for justice for rape survivors in Libya, Morocco and Honduras. With hope and determination.

Save Lal Bibi’s life and sign this petition that will be delivered right into the donor conference in Tokyo:

P.S. Avaaz has launched Community Petitions, an exciting new platform where it’s quick and easy to create a campaign on any issue you care strongly about. Start your own by clicking here:




October 2022

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