News: ANA wear purple ribbons, support elimination of violence against women
Story by Sgt. Eric Glassey
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Members of Religious Cultural Affairs, 205th Hero Corps, Afghan National Army, passed out purple ribbons to soldiers of the 4th and 5th Kandak, 1st Brigade, 205th HC, Afghan National Army, at Camp Hero, Afghanistan, Nov. 24, 2013.
The purple ribbons represent a 16-day campaign to end violence against women and girls. The 16 days link two days – Nov. 25, “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” with “International Human Rights Day” on Dec. 10.
Lt. Col. Mohammad Yahia, deputy RCA officer, 205th Hero Corps, explained to the soldiers how the protection of women falls in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
“The Islamic rights of women are more than what others claim, and the woman has a role and rights,” Yahia said. “The home is like a country that has two ministers. The man is the defense minister and protects the home. The woman is the interior minister that runs everything inside the house.”
Col. Shah Wali, the senior RCA officer for 205th Hero Corps, explained that one of reasons for violence against women is lack of education.
“The best thing is to inform (the Afghan) people what Islam says about the rights of women,” Wali said. He caveats with saying that the rights women have in Islamic countries are different than non-Islamic countries, and it can be difficult to understand.
“The woman should stay in the house and be beautiful,” Wali said, listing the role and rights of women. “When the man is not in the house, she should keep the house safe and everything in it. When the (husband) has guests, she should ask him when she should show herself. The responsibility of training the children is the woman’s when the man is gone.”
Islam doesn’t prevent women from casting their vote when it comes to elections. Wali says that educated families celebrate the elections and go together to vote. In uneducated families, the men don’t even vote, he added.
The 205th Hero Corps hosts a myriad of classes throughout the week, to include a women’s rights class.
“They have classes twice a week about a woman’s rights, and all the rights that Islam gives to women,” Capt. Ata Mohammad, religious cultural instructor, RCA, 4th Kandak, 1st Bde., 205th Hero Corps. “We teach them what Prophet Mohammad said, ‘that a good person has a good behavior with his wife and sisters.’”
Wali said that poor economics is one of the primary causes of violence in a household.
“According to Islam, a man is supposed to care for his woman at the level of his economic status,” Wali said. “If the man has a lot, he shouldn’t withhold from his wife. However, often times the woman wants something that the man cannot provide, he cannot prepare those things and it creates violence.”
When violence does happen against women, the courts are available for them to voice their complaints. However, cultural norms often times deter these women from reporting their cases.
“In Afghanistan, if violence happens to the woman, she doesn’t want to go to the courts because it is a shame to the family,” Wali said. “The two families will try to come together to solve the issue.”