Statement of Friends of RAWA, Japan on the occasion of the Black Day of April 28, 2005

Every woman should live her life as independent human wherever she may live in Afghanistan or Japan.
To us, Friends of RAWA, Japan, it is the utmost pleasure to be able to participate this year again in the Black Day demonstration of RAWA. We from the bottom of our heart do endorse RAWA’s decision to have a demonstration on the Black Day particularly in this year of 2005 in protest against the present government and the fundamentalists. Participation in this demonstration represents the worldwide current of women’s opposition to anti-democratic forces.

By RAWA we were awoken to the reality of Afghanistan; such as,
Despite their will in Afghanistan as yet women have no access to sufficient education.
Afghani people are forced to live without enough water that is essential to life.
Women are confined to house not being allowed to work outside; and those who without measures to earn their living have to find their way in prostituting themselves.
Children are at risk of kidnapping and women of rape and sexual abuse.
Neither men nor women, however competent, can find jobs.

And we Japanese must take blame for leaving Afghanistan in such a situation, which is exactly the point Friends of RAWA, Japan feel great indignation at. Much to our regret, Japan is an “underling” of the US, especially of President Bush, and some politicians have constantly promoted toeing the US line. Still, being offended and discouraged by the Japanese government when considering the future of Japan, enlightened people in Japan are trying to transform Japan. In a sense, Japan is in the same situation as Afghanistan from a political point of view. That is to say, it is a critical issue in Afghanistan to get rid of fundamentalists from the present government, and in Japan to oust from the political field hawkish people who refuse to review what Japanese did in the past.

In Japan as well women’s rights are under threat in various areas; for example,
The right of working mothers to bring children up,
The reproductive rights with which women decide by themselves to bear or not,
The right to ask men to share with women responsibilities for domestic matters, and
The equal rights for children born outside marriage to those born within the framework of marriage system.

The recent deterioration in relations between China and Japan comes from wrong views on history and obstinacy of the Japanese government. This is a reflection of the reactionary movements occurring in a “democratic country” called Japan who unconditionally follows the US. We are also struggling against Japanese fundamentalists. For women living in Japan, solidarity with RAWA is of great significance and encourages strife against movements opposed to gender equality.

Busy with Iraqi and Palestine issues, international community is getting Afghanistan consigned to oblivion. We, Friends of RAWA, Japan are well aware that we have a moral obligation in drawing the world’s attention again towards Afghanistan.

With all our strength, together, let us confront without fear powered fundamentalists and reactionary conservatives.

Friends of RAWA, Japan
28 April, 2005

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