Nilofer Rahmani the first ever Afghan female pilot seeks asylum in the USA
Due to inappropriate workplace, discrimination and harassment imposed; urged her to become an immigrant in the USA and what she declared that still she is passionate to be a pilot and is ready to work in air force institutions, but not in Afghanistan.
In fact she is not the only woman facing with difficulties in workplace, disrespectful behavior of colleagues and managers, but there are thousands of Afghan women that face with sexual, verbal and non verbal harassment, sexism and discrimination based on gender.
When a woman decides to appear in a workplace where both men and women work together and such kind of environments are mostly dominated by men; her appearance wouldn’t be greatly appreciated in the Afghan society for instance.
Some of these women face with harassment which could be based on sexual desires or reasoned religious issues.
I personally know some women who are faced with harassments by their male colleagues in work place. The harassments were in the form of sexual demand, request for unwanted relationships or blaming women for being in the society and attending workplace.
Other working women who work with extremist colleagues who are against women presence in the society frankly condemn women presence in workplace and call women deficit creatures. Their reasons are mostly based on their religious understandings about women and women who work to be economically independent.
Most of these men are in the top management of an organization and is the only source to complain for the issue.
Now the question is when there are such people in the top management of an organization then how will a woman approach them for complaining? And who will listen to such complains when there is no space and person to complain and hearing complains?
Now such women have two choices, the first option is to adjust with these kinds of harassments and discrimination or otherwise must leave the job.
This could be difficult for women who themselves are bread winners and those who want to appear in the society and take part.
Nilofer Rahmani is one of the women urged to leave her job in Afghanistan and seeking asylum in the USA, she still has passion to work in the air force and to build her career, but if the situation is not her favorite then she must build her career in another country and place.
She might be one of the few women who had gotten the chance to change their workplace and enter the international job market, but what about others?
What I believe is that women must work and try not to adjust with harassment situations; instead they can raise their voice and speak up for themselves, this may have a positive impact for the upcoming generation and for those young and talented women who want to work and take part in social, economical and political progress of the country.
If women are united; they can change lots of issues in the society gradually for better and prospered future, so their unity is a pivotal step for significant changes for a safe environment.
My request from those international organizations that work for women rights is to have influence over the government of Afghanistan and urge the government of Afghanistan to take basic, serious and productive steps towards women rights for a better, secure and equal ground for women and every female worker in order to change the current situation.
By: Gulalai Haidery
THE PASHTUN TIMES