“Women in Afghanistan simply don’t know their rights. That’s why NRC is working to help them understand their rights and give them protection,” says Suhaila Danesjo, Gender Officer for NRC in Afghanistan.
The women she is talking about are internally displaced Afghan women. They are vulnerable to abuse and violence. In addition, they often lack the most fundamental things in life, like shelter.
“Many of these women are all by themselves. If their husband is dead they must survive on their own. When their husband dies, its common practice that it is his family and not the widow who inherit the land, Danesjo says.
She emphasises the importance of putting the situation for women in Afghanistan high on the agenda.
“Afghan women will have a brighter future if humanitarian organisations provide them with more help and attention, Danesjo says, and continues:
“The Afghan government has to do more to help women in their own country. As the situation is today, the authorities are occupied with the peacebuilding process. That’s why humanitarian organisations have to do most of the work of helping the internally displaced women."
Even though the situation for women in Afghanistan is critical, Suhaila says women are are themselves a force for change in the Afghan society.
“Women in Afghanistan are strong!” she says.
"The fact that women can seek help from organisations like NRC and get help shows us that we are moving in the right direction. But Afghan women still need a lot of help, Danesjo states.
NRC Afghanistan has made a short documentary that shows Suhaila Danesjo and her colleagues at work for internally displaced women in Afghanistan. In the video, we meet Amina and Maryam, both internally displaced widows.