Monday, July 30, 2012

A Follow-up on Farida Afridi's Loss: via A Safe World for Women

I'd like to share some important follow-up messages regarding Farida Afridi, who was killed just a couple of weeks ago on July 6th 2012. May she rest in peace, and may her legacy live on forever. Aameen.

I have noticed that Farida Afridi got what appears to be the most support from A Safe World for Women, a field partner of SAWERA, the organization that Farida Afridi co-founded and sacrificed her life for. According to their website,
The Safeworld International Foundation is an independent non-governmental organisation which works with grassroots organisations and promotes the rights of women and children.
Their support and their admiration for Farida Afridi (and for women like Afridi) puts me to shame. As a Pashtun woman, if not just as a Pashtun, I should be making sure that Farida Afridi's murder is not forgotten, that she gets justice, that our future leaders like her don't face the same fate, but while I'm sitting in my comfortable home worrying about things that really are too trivial compared to this, there are people across the world for me who are still thinking about Farida Afridi. They are still writing about it, raising funds for the organization and other organizations with similar goals towards peace and justice for all but especially women and children, and they're still trying so hard to get endorsements from established organizations worldwide so that the voice against Farida Afridi's murder as well as the threat to other human rights defenders will be taken more seriously.

And most important of all, these people are not Pashtun. Without claiming to understand the depth and the complexities of the culture that produced and then killed Farida Afridi, they believe (and rightly so) that the culture, the gender, the religion, the beliefs of human rights defenders do not matter when they are killed. Their murder is unjust, and we need to do everything in our power to make sure that such atrocities do not occur again, no matter how long that might take.

When I lose hope, these people remind me that there is hope, that things will improve eventually. And the one of the best, most encouraging thing they've said to me so far is that "eventually the world seems to evolve towards more equality." This is really good to hear, and it seems true as well.

So, first, a big  thank you to these people! Please keep up your work, and we're with you!

And second, here are some follow-ups regarding Farida Afridi's murder:
Other articles written on her, some right after her death, are as follows. 
 It's very soothing to see that her murder got a lot of attention internationally, something I discovered during some random Twitter searches - and what was disappointing at that time was that barely any Pashtuns were talking about. Well, yes, I think Pashtuns should talk about more because Farida was a Pashtun woman, and our silence speaks a lot about how we view women like Farida Afridi and their efforts. As Sarai Walker said in her blog post on Farida's murder, "The best way to honor Farida and to defeat her killers is to fund her work and make sure that it continues." How true!

So let's keep that in mind -- that the mere reason Farida was killed was that she was a human rights activist, she was a women's rights activist, she worked to improve women's conditions in a culture and society and country where most really have no clue of how to respond to the challenges of the "modern" world while living a supposedly "Islamic" world. Obviously, the most natural, most convenient way to respond to those challenges is to kill anyone who contributes to those challenges! And they (the killers) know they won't get caught because justice simply does not exist in Pakistan, certainly not in Farida's part of Pakistan.

Rest in peace, Farida Afridi!


  1. What can one do to bring more attention to this murder

    1. Hi, Drewniany :) Thank you for asking!

      You can share the above articles with as many people as possible, especially via Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. And sharing information about the Farida Afridi Fund would also be a great idea and much appreciated!

      Thanks for your interest! You're very kind.


Dare to opine :)

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