AFGHANISTAN: Maryam Mani is a human rights, civil society women, and children rights activist from Afghanistan. Mani is a member of the Women’s Political Participation Network and a co-leader of Tabasom social and cultural NGO in Afghanistan.
In 2010, Mani started her journey as a human rights activist. Due to her active participation, she was able to help women and children who have been subjected to human rights violence.
Talking about the Taliban invasion she said, “After the fall of the Afghan government and takeover of the country by Taliban, we moved forward and establish a network of women’s political participation and raised our voice in a setting up protests in Kabul and provinces and it’s still going on against terrorism group of Taliban”.
The impact of humanitarian work on the society
After about 25 years of civil war, Afghanistan is moving towards achieving human rights and democracy.
Mani noted that growing up in a patriarchal environment, helped her wake up with a clear conscience. Due to this, she decided to be the voice of Afghan women and fight for human rights.
“The society where I grew up most women and girls were victims of gender discrimination, domestic violence, and torture. It was all about lack of freedom of expression and lack of basic life rights and forced marriage,” Mani added.
Humanitarian work has brought a major change in the world. These activities help millions of people mitigate the devastating impact of calamities and conflicts.
In Afghanistan, Afghan civil society activists have isolated the Taliban terrorist system from its legitimacy.
Mani believes that there are still many problems around the world that are hidden from international organizations.
“Social work helps ensure equality, stop women and family violence, stop forced marriages, advance long and productive lives, eradicate social isolation, end homelessness, and children abuse,” Mani added.
Importance of global communication
Global communication has been a game-changer especially during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the power of social media, the world and human rights organizations have become more aware of oppression than before.
“With social media, we are close to communities and the world, we can continue our activities for human rights even from home or workplace. Today, the world is becoming aware of oppression faster than before.”
“We can consider Afghanistan as a living example because the international community was unaware of the oppression of women during the Taliban administration from 1996 to 2001, but today, despite the dangers to civil activists and brave women human rights defenders we abled to raise about women right and fight for human right and put the Taliban terrorist group in isolation and under international pressure.”
Civil and human rights
Mani believes that human rights will be an important aspect for the international community in the future.
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. Mani emphasizes that one voice is enough to change society.
“Those who serve human rights are a society that can change the world. Informed youth can raise their voices for justice to force governments to make human rights a fundamental element of society,” Mani said.
“We believe that the world becomes safer for humanity, when we all have one voice and one goal and globalize justice, our smallest activity can change lives, and this will make our souls calmer and our consciences more relaxed.”
Before concluding the interview Mani quoted a poem by a Persian poet Saadi.
“All human beings are members of one frame
Since all, at first, from the same essence came
When time afflicts a limb with pain
The other limbs at rest cannot remain
If thou feel not for other’s misery
A human being is no name for thee”