Angelina Jolie, "The Breadwinner" Carry the Torch for Human Rights in Afghanistan



Tue, 31 Oct 2017 - 07:10 GMT


Tue, 31 Oct 2017 - 07:10 GMT

photo of Parvana; the protagonist of "the Breadwinner" – File Photo

photo of Parvana; the protagonist of "the Breadwinner" – File Photo

CAIRO - 31 October 2017: “The Breadwinner” is an animated movie, produced by Angelina Jolie; which depicts everyday life hardships women endure in Afghanistan.

The movie tells the story of the 11-year-old girl; Parvana, growing under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan and whose father got arrested on charges of receiving a foreign education. Having her father given a jail term, the rebellious protagonist disguised as a boy in order to find a job and be able to support her family saying "My family is in a desperate need."

"I knew what peace felt like, stories remain in our hearts even when all else is gone," said Parvana's father. Deeply moved by her father's words, Parvana made up her mind to give up on everything, provide for her family and reunite with her father.

The remarkable film reminds us about a time in recent Afghan history that greatly tested the resilience and strength of the Afghan people. The movie aroused the question of “What has changed?” and tells the story far less told: the significant progress women and girls have made after the Taliban regime was overthrown in 2001.

The Breadwinner is much more than an animated movie; it is an outcry that reflects the suffering of the Afghan people way of living before the American forces and their allies toppled the Taliban Regime.

When Taliban took control of the country in 1996, they imposed an extremely strict Islamic Ideology throughout the country; stripping Afghans from their rights. They terrorized women and girls, deprived them from education and work, forbade them to leave their houses not escorted by a male relative and dressed in a full head-to-toe burqa.

In terms of human rights, women were marginalized as their rights were not protected under the constitution. Putting it differently, they had no resort if they were abused or threatened in a male-dominated society.

Despite the endured conflict with Taliban, the setbacks and obstacles the American forces have faced, they helped to return the country to a civil society with democratic elections and basic human rights. Afghanistan has made progress for women’s rights in gender equality yet there is still a long way for Afghanistan to go.

photo of Parvana; the protagonist of "the Breadwinner" – File Photo
Reluctant to be denied her human rights as she was, Parvana; the heroine, shows the difference between Afghanistan before and after. Nowadays, despite inclusive of a number of flaws, there is an educational system and families send their daughters to schools and defy Taliban threats.

Women human rights in Afghanistan are now protected under Afghanistan’s constitution. Although there is much more to be achieved before Afghanistan can cope up with the currently set laws in recent years, but the fact that the laws exist is a major step towards establishing the fullness of equal rights.

According to the Breadwinner, culture has witnessed a change. Under Taliban rule, televisions and music were banned. The media was tightly controlled by the regime, which monitored all communications. Today Afghanistan has 150 radio stations, 50 private television stations and 22 state-owned channels. The content is no longer censored by authoritarian rule and freedom of the press has been growing.

There is much more to "the Breadwinner" than being just an animated movie for kids, it stands as an embodiment for the grave suffering of the female gender under Taliban regime. Parvana; the little green eyed female, does not only personify every female in Afghanistan, but also women around the world. She is conveying a message to the world to humanize women, and to the victimized; regardless of their gender, to stop being dehumanized, to get on their feet and never give up on their rights to live a dignified life.



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