Ranna Tareen, 2011 – WOMAN of ACTION

A Celebration of Women

has decided to Celebrate the Life One Women

who is putting her Own Life at Risk


for the Benefit of other Women.


Ranna Tareen

I see my death… but no one cares

KANDAHAR, 11 May 2010 (IRIN) – Work outside the home in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province has become almost impossible for women due to constant threats and intimidation by insurgents.

Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs Ambassador (left) presents $40,000 worth of INL-funded office equipment and furnishings to Acting Minister of Women’s Affairs Hussan Ban Ghazanfar. AFGHANISTAN.

Convinced she will be killed if she continues to defy the threats, 39-year-old Ranna Tareen, director of Kandahar’s Women’s Affairs Department and a well-known women’s rights activist, has decided to leave Kandahar and run for parliament in Kabul. She told IRIN about her fears.

“They [Taliban] are no longer warning me by phone or letter; instead they come to my office and intimidate me in person. They operate with impunity and the government is unable to stop them.
“Once I called security officials to arrest a man who was threatening me.” They arrested him, but only for two hours, after which he called me and said: ‘You work for this government?’

“I have told officials about my security concerns and I have even talked to the PRT [NATO-led Provincial Reconstruction Team] about them, but no one cares.

“I have applied for a transfer

to another province,

but there are no vacancies”.

“I don’t know who is killing us women, and why.

I know the Taliban are only part of the problem here.”

“Every time they [the Taliban] paste up a warning note in a girls’ school the number of students drops. This happens frequently but there is no one to stop this.”

“Kandahar has lost a lot of its brave women over the past few years:

Sitara Achakzai [Provincial Council Member killed in April 2009].

Malalai Kakar [Top Female Police Officer killed in September 2008]

and Safia Amajan [Head of Women’s Affairs Department killed in September 2006].

“I see my death too.

What annoys me is to see

no one cares about it.”

RANNA in 2011

In the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, neighborhoods are not immune to Taliban bombings and targeting assassinations, despite an ongoing NATO offensive.

Rana Tareen, a vocal activist and former head of the Women Affair’s department in Kandahar, is running for elections again. Unlike her previous campaign in 2005, holding public gatherings and speaking about burning issues such as accountability for perpetrators of war crimes is simply too risky.

The 33-year-old mother of four now runs a low-profile campaign, contacting key community interlocutors by telephone and holding small gatherings with women inside private homes. Her key message is justice and respect for human rights.

She is not pleased with the state of government-promised security, but hopes that unlike the 2009 presidential election, fraud will not mar these polls.

She worries, however, that if security concerns result in low turnout, her chances of being elected will be seriously undermined.

“Unfortunately, polling stations will remain close in the majority of districts,” Tareen says. “In some places, people will not go to polling stations because of the lack of security. Under such circumstances, who can guarantee the transparency of the election process?”

Despite the challenges, women candidates appear eager to give their male counterparts a run for their money. They will be competing in some cases against warlords, clerics, and moneyed businessman in a patriarchal society where power still largely flows from the barrel of a gun.

Seeking reelection in Kandahar, Fereba Ahmadi Kakar asks her constitutes to defy all threats on election day.

“We have to stand up,” Kakar exhorts. “We should sacrifice ourselves today to have a bright and better future for our children. If we are scared or if we don’t stand up, Afghanistan will remain like this and the future will be dark.”


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Our Prayers go out to

All Our Women in Afghanistan.

Speak Out, Ranna….WE are listening!

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May God Himself Bless You.

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