Revolution#125, April 6, 2008

From A World to Win News Service

Quetta, Pakistan: Afghan Women Celebrate International Women’s Day

March 17 2008. A World to Win News Service. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the  March 8 Women’s Detachment of Afghanistan held a meeting in Quetta, a city in northern Pakistan near the Afghanistan border, to commemorate the founding of this day of protest a century ago and condemn the worsening violence against women in Afghanistan. The mass meeting was held with the active cooperation of another Afghan group, the Revolutionary Youth Movement. More than 800 people filled the hall and another 200 could not get in because there was no more room.

Most of the participants were women and girls, most of whom were students. Among the male participants, the majority were students as well. The young women speakers from the two organizations made presentations about the deteriorating situation for women in Afghanistan under the U.S.-led occupation.

Afghanistan has become one of the worst places in the world in terms of violence against women. In addition to suffering from the general atmosphere of insecurity, they have been raped and kidnapped by the armed forces. They are the victims or threatened victims of rape in the prisons and women’s shelters. They face death by stoning for non-Islamic behavior. They also suffer violence in their home and from their family, such as beating and murder by their husbands and so-called honor killings at the hands of male family members. Not only has the occupation of the country by the U.S. and its allies in the name of liberating women not improved the situation; in many aspects, in particular regarding the violent oppression of women, things have gotten worse. Nothing speaks more eloquently to this reality than the fact that the number of cases of women committing suicide by burning themselves to death has skyrocketed over the last five years.

The program also included instrumental music, songs, paintings and poems denouncing the violence against women by the occupiers, the Afghanistan armed forces, and women’s families. Several teenage girls and boys put on a performance. The program was well received by the participants.

The afternoon-long meeting, held on March 9, received solidarity and support messages from nearly all the local schools and educational institutions on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

The March 8 Women’s Detachment has celebrated IWD by holding mass meetings in Quetta every year since 1998 under different circumstances. This year was one of the best received by the poor masses of the neighborhoods in Quetta where tens of thousands of Afghanis live.

The March 8 Women’s Detachment blog:

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine (, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.

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