RAWA: Revolutionary Association of the Women in Afghanistan

I like the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. In fact, this isn’t even a commentary post, so much as it is meant to bring light to these women.

RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, was established in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1977 as an independent political/social organization of Afghan women fighting for human rights and for social justice in Afghanistan.

Their charter ends by saying

Whenever fundamentalists exist as a military and political force in our injured land, the problem of Afghanistan will not be solved. Today RAWA’s mission for women’s rights is far from over and we have to work hard for establishment of an independent, free, democratic and secular Afghanistan. We need the solidarity and support of all people around the world.”

I feel that this breaks some misconceptions about the role of feminism in the middle-east. If war seems to be a symptom of that which is developed from stereotypic masculinity, and if the U.S. is indeed in this war to promote democracy, then why hasn’t RAWA been utilized – to counteract combat? Why is it that the USA military must be constantly acting as the same sort of savior to Jessica Lynch as it is to Afghani women? This is the worst kind of feminism, a pride for women’s rights that is bastardized by its inception in the mouth of a patriarchial, domineering government. It would seem that RAWA is the perfect point of contact to form a progressive alliance. Check out their website for a lot of interesting media, even pro-feminist songs.

Where are the discourses of empowered people in our media? Why must we portray the enemy in a degraded, feminized, humiliated light? To stroke some psychological fears, or the satisfaction of our own prowess? The American government’s need to hold such absolute control over the feelings of the public may have a hand here- we must always look on the Enemy as an Other who is distinct from us in the NEED for us, an Other who is like the typical Female, always submissive, needy, wanting, yet never in alliance with patriarchial groups.

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~ by 1womanarmy on April 28, 2008.

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