I wish I could have found a copy of a BBC video I just watched on the fate of women in Afghanistan.
Bibi Aisha, left, had her nose and ears cut off for running away from an abusive husband. The BBC video showed women whose husbands had tried to turn them into prostitutes, who had been repeatedly beaten, who had been threatened with death for having chosen a boyfriend their parents did not approve of, and so on.
So far we’ve been considering mostly the cabals of the western world but the spread of popular revolt to countries like Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran begs mention of much else that is happening besides engineered pandemics and snowstorms.
Reflecting back on my eight years listening to refugee claims, I would say that most legitimate cases of persecution (that is, not fraudulent cases of people jumping the immigration queue) that I heard were from women, children next, and men a very distinct third.
In the case of Afghani women, avoiding being beaten was the chief daily concern. Women in that country have no ability to participate in the choice of marriage partner. Many young girls are married off to old men and can be killed if they try to escape. They live a tightly-circumscribed life, with no education, no challenge, and no choice.
Little or no justice is available. Moreover, as in many countries in that region, when justice is available, it is heavily weighted against women. For instance, if a sexual impropriety has occurred, women are punished; much less often men and, when men are punished, they are treated much more leniently than women.
When we think of freeing the world from the dark, we may think in terms of our own societies and, if we do, I worry that we forget that the plight of women – and children – in some of the countries that we usually don’t consider very often is tragic.
I was really very much affected by the BBC video and I’d like to widen our vision somewhat as go forward to include people in other countries who live short, pitiful lives of persecution.
Our family from space is not here to free us only, but to provide relief for the millions around the world who live a life that would be unimaginable by our standards. If the dark is to be banished from the planet, it must be banished everywhere. National sovereignty, religious freedom, cultural conventions – nothing can justify the treatment of women and children in countries like Afghanistan and others that we may look at. It’s not a very pretty subject, but it’s part of our world and a part that we cannot hide from.