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How Can Western Feminist Movements Help Women In Afghanistan?

Written by: Mayra Cardozo, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


First of all, when we analyze women in Afghanistan, we have to disassociate what is happening from the critic of the Islamic culture.

To me, reducing all this discussion to the religious point seems to be naive and prejudiced.

It´s essential to understand what the Taliban is and how it emerges. The Taliban is an extremist group whose aim is to enforce an Islamic law that acts following its interpretation.

Taliban were in power in Afghanistan between 1996 to 2001, marked by high human rights violations, especially the rights of women and children.

However, it’s important to remember that all religions can trigger the formation of extremist groups in a fundamentalist way. No religion is exempt from people interpreting and usurping its values to consolidate extremist groups.

Furthermore, it’s essential to keep in mind that the Taliban´s political agenda is not very different from Western Countries, especially Latin American Countries, with conservative governments that do not preach Islam.

If we compare the Taliban government agenda with the Brazilian government plan, we can see a lot of similarities, for example:

a) abortion is banned;

b) gay marriage outward;

c) rejection of science;

d) no vaccines;

e) no separation of church and state,

f) religion taught in schools.

So, considering this initial observation, we proceed to answer the central question of the article: How can the western feminist movement help women in Afghanistan? This question is fundamental because often, Western Human Rights movements, with excellent intentions, end up intervening in local situations and causing more damage. That happens because their actions are base on their western realities and narratives.

Therefore is so essential not to generalize experiences. Western women will never know what Afghan people are going through, and so, when we make ourselves available to help, we have to conceive our actions recognizing that we see the world from the place of privilege.

Recognizing these privileges is crucial because we can study and work, and we have no idea how it is not to have more of these rights.

Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure that this help does not become a kind of colonization and islamophobia.

For this reason, I always recommend before acting, contact local movements to start a dialogue. But, first, it is necessary to listen to those who suffer their demands instead of assuming people´s needs based on your western perspective.

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Mayra Cardozo, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mayra is one of the pioneers in Brazil in feminist coaching and is something she is passionate about. Despite being a lawyer and partner in a famous office in Brazil and a university professor of Human Rights, these were not enough for her. She always wants to make a difference in people's lives. It was then that she discovered her passion and became a life coach; she has a brilliant curriculum involving the best national and international courses.

The objective of your work is to empower human beings to be their best version and help them emancipate themselves from socially constructed beliefs to be their essence.

Her approach is different. It aims to unite the coaching process with the development of an inclusive and emancipatory awareness.



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