A young woman steps out of the American University of Afghanistan. For her and others, the university campus is a place for the exchange of ideas, philosophies, and education. Incidentally, for the most part, the university in the heart of Kabul is no different than any learning institute anywhere else in the world.
However, even though things look as normal here as anywhere else in the world, the truth is that women in this region are fighting a war against oppression. Women of Afghanistan have been fighting a war against oppression for many years, and now the fight has been taken to the doors of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), and any other institute that believes in equal opportunities and right for men and women.
AUAF Closed for Six Months
Just six months ago, the AUAF was attacked by terrorists seeking to use fear and violence to undermine the student and staff that chose to attend the university. The school represents an idea that Islamic radicalists want to squash and eliminate; the idea of free thinking, the idea of freedom, and the idea of same sex equality.
The terrorists had attempted to shock the students from coming back to the school, and keep the women who dared think outside the box to stay home. For six months, the campus closed its doors, and it seemed that the terrorists had won. Incidentally, six students and seven staff members got killed. One of the wounded was a young law student, named Brishna. A 26 year old, she was one of the unfortunate few that was shot in the leg.
Women Fight Back
Fortunately, the young collegiate survived. At home in recovery for the moment, Brishna is defeated physically for the moment. However, the defeat is only temporary. She is determined to return to school and cannot wait for the day she can walk back through the doors of the AUAF and finish her degree. Her and other women have lost a small battle, yet they are determined to win the war. The cause is strong (Huffington Post).
The story of Brishna supports the idea that young Afghans are fighting the war against women that has raged in their country for generations. Hers is just one of many such stories of Afghans who are fighting the war on women (Fox News). The country has been under siege for over 16 years. The war against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and now Isis has been raging for a generation. The war is far from over, but Afghan women are resiliently continuing to fight against oppressive Islamic radicalism by getting their educations, becoming business women and entrepreneurs, and becoming leaders in their fields.
A lot has changed for women in recent months. According to Manizha Naderi, the Executive Director of Women for Afghan Women, the fairer sex in the country are now occupying jobs and roles that were otherwise available to them in the last sixteen years. Women are going to school and university, and dressing how they want to. If a female wants to wear a burqa, she may, but if she wants to wear jeans, she may (Bustle).
The Fight Continues
Women have been marginalized in societies since the beginning of history itself. Civilization is just recently moving towards the brink of equality, one society at a time. Small steps are made for progress. Many steps backwards are made as well. No matter what, in all corners of the globe, the fight for quality has continued, and progress is made in different leaps. Afghanistan is one of the societies where women are emerging as strong, bold fighters and pushing the gender barriers where they can.