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:
- a petition created by Fauzia V, as a result of Farida's murder, to protect human rights defenders in Pakistan, especially FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)
- a statement for the protection of women human rights defenders, created by Safe World for Women (has a lot of endorsements so far but needs more)
- The Farida Afridi Fund, set up by Safe World for Women. All donations go towards SAWERA (minus the transfer cost). It is set up with in consultation with Noorzia (Farida's sister) and Lal Jan Afridi
- A Safe World for Women's (SWW's) article on a message to Frida Afridi's supporters, from the Tribal NGOs consortium
- SWW's first article on Farida's murder, titled Not Safe After All
- SWW's second article on the issue, titled The Loss of Farida Afridi, murdered in Pakistan
- Josh Shahryar's piece on SWW - In Death, Farida Afridi Will Continue to Save and Better Lives (also available on Awid)
- Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) - WAF Statement and Petition on Farida Afridi Killing
- Sarai Walker - RIP Farida Afridi
- Tribue - Militancy: A progressive voice for tribal women silenced in targeted attack
- Tribune - Farida Afrid
- Tribune - Farida Afridi's murder: Alliance calls for timely justice, protection of human rights activists
- Tribune blogs - Farida Afridi: killed in broad daylight
- Pakistan Blogzine - Women's Action Forum condemns brutal murder of Farida Afridi by ASWJ/Taliban
- Dawn - Farida Afridi's murder: government asked to establish writ
- The News - Farida Afridi -
- NPR - The Cost of Women's Rights in Northwest Pakistan
- Al-Jazeera's piece on Farida Afridi: Pakistan murder strikes fear in working women (includes a video)
- and a lot more
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!