AfghanistanSpecial ReportsWomen & Human Rights

August 15 (2); Bringing the University Home

Sayed Mahdi Hussaini

Bayan News – Since August 15, 2021, two contrasting narratives have emerged in Afghan society. One segment of society is satisfied with these developments, as it appears that the foreign forces have withdrawn and Afghanistan has been liberated from occupation. However, the other segment of society considers this day a black day because the achievements of the past twenty-one years have been lost.

Democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice, and most importantly, women’s rights—all of these have gradually been eroded since that date, and Afghan women and girls have been gradually marginalized and excluded from various sectors of society.

Furthermore, with the recent developments, the economic problems of the people have worsened compared to the past. Poverty has spread, and some people have resorted to unexpected measures (such as organ trafficking, underage marriage, and the sale of daughters) to make a living.

However, the Islamic Emirate does not acknowledge this economic challenge. Government officials believe that employment opportunities have been provided for the people, and poverty has been reduced through economic measures.

Nevertheless, on the occasion of August 15, and more specifically, two years of living under the renewed rule of the Islamic Emirate, a Bayan News reporter interviews a woman who was engaged in social activities in the previous regime and taught at a university.

Maryam Yaram, a social activist and university professor, states that she has published four works during her period of social activities. “A Poem Not to Be Read,” “God Knows,” “Greetings to the Final Farewell,” and “Center of Gravity in Public Speaking.”

The Center of Gravity in Public Speaking was published just a year before. Although she was asked if she had permission or not, she says she published it through a publishing house, and it is unclear whether she had permission or not.

Maryam was asked about her motivation for publishing a book, especially in such restrictive circumstances faced by women and girls. She mentions three reasons: first, the lack of a series of order in speech books; second, the creation of a teaching method in the school where she taught; and third, demonstrating the abilities of Afghan women.

She continues, “Nothing is impossible for anyone in any situation. If you want, you will definitely succeed, and no government can stop you and your activities.”

Although Maryam emphasizes that she has made great efforts not to be affected by the circumstances and not to let any differences enter her life, she has still been affected by the conditions.

Despite the strict restrictions, Maryam continues to make her mark and asserts that women and girls should never surrender in any situation.

Currently, with the imposed restrictions, Maryam is not unemployed, and she reflects her activities through YouTube, with the motivation to empower women and girls even in unfavorable conditions.

Maryam believes that there are numerous solutions, but the problem lies in how to implement them. She now insists that women and girls should be active from their homes. If universities are closed, they should turn their homes into universities.

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