The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) is one of the three Charitable organizations to which we will be donating during Imagine Peace Fest 2011. I think that it’s only appropriate that we provide a brief introduction to their work and purpose.
RAWA was founded in 1977 by Meena Keshwar Kumal in an attempt to fight for Afghan Women’s right to education, right to participate in political life, and be full members of the Afghan society. Through her work she visited France during a French socialist Congress to speak on the behalf of Afghan women. Meena also helped set up schools and medical centers across Afghanistan to help alleviate the plights of her people.
Sadly Meena’s activist role in the advancement for the women in her culture led to her assassination in 1987, a mere ten years after the establishment of RAWA. Her spirit still lives on as her legacy and work helped inspire generations of RAWA members after her death. The following is a message posted about her influence on the RAWA Website,
“Meena gave 12 years of her short but brilliant life to struggle for her homeland and her people. She had a strong belief that despite the darkness of illiteracy, ignorance of fundamentalism, and corruption and decadence of sell outs imposed on our women under the name of freedom and equality, finally that half of population will be awaken and cross the path towards freedom, democracy and women’s rights. The enemy was rightly shivering with fear by the love and respect that Meena was creating within the hearts of our people. They knew that within the fire of her fights all the enemies of freedom, democracy and women would be turned to ashes.”
Since Meena’s assassination RAWA has gain strength and continued to fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan. By going against the law and filming the savage beating and killing of women at the hands of their government to show how these women were and are being treated. RAWA has protested occupations of Afghanistan and radical fundamentalist culture that berates their rights. They continue to build orphanages, hospitals, and schools to help protect and educate future generations of Women in Afghanistan.