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Plight project – the plight of women in Afghanistan

March 23, 2011

Another project we presented yesterday was one entitled Plight. We were asked to find someone else’s story or plight and tell it using our own visual voice. I chose the plight of women in Afghanistan and chose to highlight their fight for equal human rights there. Did you know, for example, that 87.2% of Afghan women are subjected to physical, psychological and sexual violence; 55% of all Afghan brides have not reached their 16th birthday. Many are married to men who are over 60; 60% of all Afghan marriages are forced and with no possibility of annulment or divorce; 89% of Afghan women are illiterate and unschooled – most deprived even of elementary school education. Women are not permitted to appear in public without a male companion and without head to toe coverings. They are not permitted to drive or take employment.

Not well that this is NOT Afghan law. These rules contradict the Afghan constitution and international treaties signed by the Afghan Government. However many in the Afghan Justice system do not agree with women’s rights and therefore women are still punished for ‘crimes of morality’. They are imprisoned, mutilated and even stoned and many have tried to commit suicide, often by setting fire to themselves.

I got some of the above figures and statements from a rather dodgy website called thelastcrusade.org. They claim the information came from the UN Human Rights Watch. My limited research on the UN site shows the figures may be exaggerated so if you want to find out more then go to www.hrw.org the website of the United Nations Human Rights Watch, specifically reports such as this one. It’s also worth checking out the BBC documentary Women, Weddings, War and Me which you can find on YouTube here.

I chose to produce a set of posters to highlight the plight of women in Afghanistan. These are the most successful ones.

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