Want to do something symbolic and meaningful for women’s rights on Mother’s Day?
Help us fly kites for women’s rights.
This Mother’s Day, Amnesty is inviting you to write a message of solidarity for Afghan women. We’ll put it on a kite — kite flying is a popular pastime in Afghanistan — and fly it during the NATO Summit in Chicago, May 20-21, where President Obama and Afghan President Karzai will be discussing Afghanistan’s transition.
Send your message of solidarity sky high. Write a note supporting Afghan women’s rights by Mother’s Day, May 13.
Why kites? Because while women and girls in Afghanistan make kites, they are not free to fly them because it’s considered socially unacceptable. Kites can therefore be a powerful symbol of discrimination against women and their exclusion from politics in Afghanistan.
Although the NATO Summit will discuss Afghanistan’s future, Afghan women won’t even be at the table! Unacceptable! That’s why Amnesty is holding a NATO Shadow Summit to bring this critical subject in front of NATO. After our event, we’ll fly your kites in front of the NATO Summit to make sure that these world leaders see our message: Don’t abandon Afghan women!
Despite modest gains over recent years, women and girls still face widespread human rights abuses including exclusion from political life, gender-based violence and discrimination. For example, President Karzai has publically endorsed a “code of conduct” allowing husbands to beat their wives.
Is this progress? We think not. There is real danger that women’s rights will get thrown under the bus as the U.S. searches for a quick exit from Afghanistan.
Women and girls in Afghanistan cannot afford to wait. Masiha Faiz, a defense attorney for Medica Mondiale, a women’s rights NGO, said that she’s been attacked for defending women accused of “moral crimes,” like fleeing abuse. The government does little to support human rights defenders like Masiha.
In 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton told women Afghan officials, “We will not abandon you, we will stand with you always.”
Yes, we will stand with Afghan women, always. This is a defining moment for the U.S. government to show that it will not abandon women. There is no peace without women’s and girls’ human rights.
Cristina M. Finch
Policy and Advocacy Director, Women’s Human Rights
Amnesty International USA