Voices of Afghan Women: Human Rights and Economic Development

  • Citation: Ahmed-Ghosh, Huma. "Voices of Afghan women: Human rights and economic development." International Feminist Journal of Politics 8.1 (2006): 110-128.
    • Topics:
    • Human Rights
    • Keywords:
    • Central Asia
    • Afghan women
    • economic empowerment
    • human rights
    • women's rights

Contemporary Afghanistan provides a good case study for looking at the growing demand for women’s rights within a tribal, Islamic and modernizing framework. As was explicated by three Afghan women interviewed at a conference in Italy in 2001, and additional women in Kabul in 2003, human rights for all people in Afghanistan, and specifically for women, can only be ensured through democracy. They believe that democracy can only be ensured through full participation of women in the political process especially when women comprise at least 60 percent of the country’s population. In turn, they say that women’s political participation is dependent on their economic empowerment and social and physical security. In this article, I emphasize the importance of economic empowerment and social and physical security for Afghan women as the urgent agenda for the international community to be responsible for and to engage in, as a prerequisite to a dialogue on human rights as women’s rights. Toward that, this article will delineate the various debates on the human rights discourse, its political complexities, cultural applicability and universality and its ability to translate to women’s rights in Afghanistan.

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