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Afghan Woman Blinded for Working- Where are the Proclaimed Feminist's at?

Written by: Emma Randich

Afghan woman, Khatera (no last name would be provided) has dreamed about working outside her home since she was a young girl. Her father never gave her permission to work and strongly opposed the idea of it. It wasn’t until Khatera got married and received approval to work from her husband. At the age of 33 she was finally able to achieve that goal by becoming a police officer. Some days she would notice her father following her when she was on duty and eventually “he started contacting the Taliban in the nearby area and asked them to prevent me from going to my job” (Khatera. Reuters). Recently, as she was leaving the police unit in Afghanistan’s central Ghazni province, three men on motorcycles stopped, shot her, and stabbed her in the eyes, leaving her blind. That same day Khatera received a phone call from her father asking for her location. Later it was found out that her father gave the Taliban a copy of her ID as well as paid a group of savages to commit this violent and horrific act. In an interview with Reuters, she explained that she blames the attack on the Taliban and its militants. The Taliban was asked about these matters and said they knew about this case but they did not act on it because they felt it was a “family matter” (Sediqi. Reuters). The police confirm this story to be true and believe the Taliban is responsible. Her father was arrested, making her mother remove all ties to Khatera because she believes that Khatera is to blame for her father’s arrest. Currently, Khatera, her husband, and their five children are in hiding somewhere in Kabul. She reported that every night she has trouble falling asleep, she jumps whenever she hears a motorcycle go by, and she has no contact with her family anymore. She told Reuters, “I wish I had served in police at least a year. If this has happened to me after that, it would have been less painful. It happened too soon… I only got to work and live my dream for three months”.

It is no shock how women are treated in countries like Afghanistan. They are controlled by their fathers or husbands, there is harsh violent backlash for women who work outside the home or even think to do so, they are sheltered, and looked down on by their society. In places like Saudi Arabia women just recently in 2017 were given the right to drive. In America, modern-day (fourth- wave) feminist are so quick to scream oppression in this country and are quick to blame American values for it. You would think these crimes would horrify feminists and they would draw attention to helping those in true suppression and maltreatment. Do you ever hear feminists on their Instagram posts, Facebook statuses, and Snapchat stories talking about these horrors women are enduring in these countries? No. Or what about those in high status in the political realm? Nothing. So why is it that feminists today feel that America is a horrible place for women when acknowledging how women are treated in other countries? Women like Khatera dream of coming to America. Feminists make America (these oppressed women’s escape route) seem as if there isn’t a way out of suppression since America is just as sexist and treats women poorly. A true feminist would fight for these women, not neglect them.

Works Cited:

  1. Sediqi, Abdul Qadir. “Afghan Woman Shot, Blinded, for Getting a Job.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 10 Nov. 2020, 

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