<no subject>

Stephen Roach & Fabrizia Baldissera oblivion at CHIANTINET.IT
Thu Mar 18 06:52:09 UTC 1999

I agree with the signing of the petition! Fabrizia baldissera, University of
Florence, Italy
>From: Oguibenine <oguibeni at MONZA.U-STRASBG.FR>
>Date: Mer, 17 mar 1999 12:14

>I forward this message at the request of the undersigned although it does
>not belong to properly Indological matters (but to a field not alien to
>Indologists because of the formerly known Buddhist sites!).
>Return-Path: <josiane.olff-nathan at gersulp.u-strasbg.fr>
>X-Sender: olffnath at mailserver.u-strasbg.fr
>Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 10:41:15 +0100
>From: josiane.olff-nathan at gersulp.u-strasbg.fr (Josiane Olff-Nathan)
>Subject: Women in Afghanistan
>Please spare a minute to read this mail. Thank you.
>The government of Afghanistan is waging a war upon women. The situation is
>getting so bad that one person in an editorial of the Times compared the
>treatment of women there to the treatment of Jews in pre-Holocaust Poland.
>Since the Taliban took power in 1996, women have had to wear burqua and
>have been beaten and stoned in public for not having the proper attire,
>even if this means simply not having the mesh covering in front of their
>eyes. One woman was beaten to DEATH by an angry mob of fundamentalists for
>accidentally exposing her arm while she was driving. Another was stoned to
>death for trying to leave the country with a man that was not a relative.
>Women are not allowed to work or even go out in public without a male
>relative; professional women such as professors, translators, doctors,
>lawyers, artists and writers have been forced from their jobs and stuffed
>into their homes, so that depression is becoming so widespread that it has
>reached emergency levels. There is no way in such an extreme Islamic
>society to know the suicide rate with certainty, but relief workers are
>estimating that the suicide rate among women, who cannot find proper
>medication and treatment for severe depression and would rather take their
>lives than live in such conditions, has increased significantly. Homes
>where a woman is present must have their windows painted so that she can
>never be seen by outsiders. They must wear silent shoes so that they are
>never heard. Women live in fear of their lives for the slightest
>misbehavior. Because they cannot work, those without male relatives or
>husbands are either starving to death or begging on the street, even if
>they hold Ph.D.'s. There are almost no medical facilities available for
>women, and relief workers, in protest, have mostly left the country, taking
>medicine and psychologists and other things necessary to treat the
>sky-rocketing level of depression among women. At one of the rare hospitals
>for women, a reporter found still, nearly lifeless bodies lying motionless
>on top of beds, wrapped in their burqua, unwilling to speak, eat, or do
>anything, but slowly wasting away. Others have gone mad and were seen
>crouched in corners, perpetually rocking or crying, most of them in fear.
>One doctor is considering, when what little medication that is left finally
>runs out, leaving these women in front of the president's residence as a
>form of peaceful protest. It is at the point where the term 'human rights
>violations' has become an understatement. Husbands have the power of life
>and death over their women relatives, especially their wives, but an angry
>mob has just as much right to stone or beat a woman, often to death, for
>exposing an inch of flesh or offending them in the slightest way. David
>Cornwell has said that those in the West should not judge the Afghan people
>for such treatment because it is a 'cultural thing', but this is not even
>true. Women enjoyed relative freedom, to work, dress generally as they
>wanted, and drive and appear in public alone until only 1996 -- the
>rapidity of this transition is the main reason for the depression and
>suicide; women who were once educators or doctors or simply used to basic
>human freedoms are now severely restricted and treated as sub-human in the
>name of right-wing fundamentalist Islam. It is not their tradition or
>'culture', but is alien to them, and it is extreme even for those cultures
>where fundamentalism is the rule. Besides, if we could excuse everything on
>cultural grounds, then we should not be appalled that the Carthaginians
>sacrificed their infant children, that little girls are circumcised in
>parts of Africa, that blacks in the US deep south in the 1930's were
>lynched, prohibited from voting, and forced to submit to unjust Jim Crow
>laws. Everyone has a right to a tolerable human existence, even if they are
>women in a Muslim country in a part of the world that Westerners may not
>understand. If we can threaten military force in Kosovo in the name of
>human rights for the sake of ethnic Albanians, then NATO and the West can
>certainly express peaceful outrage at the oppression, murder and injustice
>committed against women by the Taliban.
>> *************
>> STATEMENT: In signing this, we agree that the current treatment of women
>in Afghanistan is completely UNACCEPTABLE and deserves support and action
>by the people of the United Nations and that the current situation in
>Afghanistan will not be tolerated. Women's Rights is not a small issue
>anywhere and it is UNACCEPTABLE for women in 1998 to be treated as
>sub-human and so much as property. Equality and human decency is a RIGHT
>not a freedom, whether one lives in Afghanistan or anywhere else.
>> *****
>> 1) Bruce J. Malina, Omaha, NE
>> 2) Raymond Hobbs, Hamilton, ON, Canada
>> 3) Elizabeth Demaray, Kanata, ON, Canada
>> 4) Fred Demaray, Kanata, ON, Canada
>> 5) Leslie Penrose, Tulsa, OK
>> 6) Susan Ross, Perkins, OK
>> 7) Jeannie Himes, Tulsa, OK
>> 8) Lois Adams, Tulsa, OK
>> 9) Mona M. Miller, Fort Collins, CO
>> 10) Kara A. Sheldon, Colorado Springs, CO
>> 11) Gay Victoria, Colorado Springs, CO
>> 12) Catherine Euler, Leeds, UK
>> 13) Faith Muimo, Leeds, UK
>> 14) Sanna Vehviläinen, Helsinki, Finland
>> 15) Jussi Onnismaa, Helsinki. Finland
>> 16) Marjatta Hahkio, Helsinki, Finland
>> 17) Jouko Hahkio, Helsinki, Finland
>> 18) Colin Sydes, Helsinki, Finland
>19) Gavin Cowie, Helsinki, Finland
>20) Andrew Walker, London, UK
>21 Roberto Battista, London, UK
>22) Richard Wolfstrome, Brighton, UK
>23) Louise Jorden, London, UK
>24) Jonny Shipp, Brighton, UK
>25) Gabriel de Kadt, Brighton, UK
>26) Emanuel de Kadt, Brighton, UK
>27) Dominique Egger, Geneva, CH
>28) Jean louis BARA, Colmar, FR
>29) Rodolphe Echard, Colmar, FR
>30) Josiane Olff-Nathan, Strasbourg, France
>31) Boris Oguibenine, Strasbourg, France
>> **** Please sign to support, and include your town and country. Then
>> copy and e-mail to as many people as possible. If you receive this
>> list with more than 50 names on it, please e-mail a copy of it to:
>> Mary Robinson,
>> High Commissioner,
>> webadmin.hchr at unorg.ch
>> and to:
>> Angela King,
>> Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women,
>> UN,
>> daw at undp.org
>> Even if you decide not to sign, please be considerate and do not kill
>> the petition. Thank you.
>> It is best to copy rather than forward the petition.
>Josiane Olff-Nathan
>Groupe d'Etude et de Recherche sur la Science de l'Universite Louis Pasteur
>7, rue de l'Universite
>67000 - Strasbourg (France)
>Tel : +33 (0)3 88 52 80 60
>Fax : +33 (0)3 88 52 80 57
>Email : josiane.olff-nathan at gersulp.u-strasbg.fr

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