A feminist friend, who I told about the Afghan women’s Green Scarf movement, said, “I don’t support the veil!” And I suddenly realized that probably she’s not the only one with the wrong idea about what this is all about.
To support this movement all one needs to do is: 1) Put on a green scarf (Doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, or how you want to wear it) 2) Take a picture of yourself wearing it 3) Upload it on this site to show your solidarity with the Afghan women.
And to clarify: it does not ask for people to wear a veil! It says ‘A scarf.’ It just needs to be green. And you can wear it however you want. My green scarf (in the picture to your left) is 6 yards long, and drapes around the body. It could go over my head, but I wouldn’t do that because I don’t support the idea of the veil either!
I wore a veil then, because I accepted that as the norm of a place that I was seeking entrance to. However, I still do not support the idea of a veil as a societal imposition. What I do support is a woman’s individual choice to wear it if she wants to.
However, the Afghan Women’s green scarf movement is not about the veil. It is about the fact that the western powers that entered Afghanistan promising freedom to the women there from the brutally oppressive and misogynistic Taliban rule, that stripped women of all their basic rights including their right to education, are now reneging on that promise. As the western forces pull out, they are making deals with some of these old factions to allow them representation in the new government, and women there are fearful that their rights will be brutally tcrushed again. And so the women there are calling on the world to support them, as they push for an international referendum to ensure that that does not happen. I think much of the world is pretty much aware of the kind of cruelty to women that the Taliban and similar factions are capable of.
Even here in India, where I run The 50 Million Missing Campaign to end India’s ongoing female genocide, and where there is far more freedom and space to express/ protest, than in Afghanistan, I am often disappointed with the lack of courage and initiative shown by Indian women in raising their voices against their own annihilation. That’s why I find this initiative by the Afghan women, living under such difficult and dangerous conditions, that much more exemplary. It is all the more reason that all of us around the world must support the Green Scarf Movement.
So whether you are a man or woman – go get your green scarf, and click here to upload your photo and support for the Afghan women.