Meena Keshwar Kamal

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Meena Keshwar Kamal
Meena founder of RAWA speaking in 1982.jpg
Meena Keshwar Kamal, 1982
Native name مینا کشور کمال
Born 27 February 1956
Died February 4, 1987(1987-02-04) (aged 30)
Quetta, Pakistan
Cause of death
Assassinated for her political activities
Nationality Afghan
Ethnicity Pashtun
Education Kabul University
Occupation Revolutionary political activist, Feminist, Women's rights activist
Years active 1977—1987
Organization Founder of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
Spouse(s) Faiz Ahmad (1976-1986)

Meena Keshwar Kamal (Pashto/Persian: مینا کشور کمال‎; February 27, 1956 – February 4, 1987), commonly known as Meena, was an Afghan revolutionary political activist, feminist, women's rights activist and founder of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), who was assassinated in 1987.

Biography[edit]

In 1977, when she was a student at Kabul University,[1] she founded Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), an organization formed to promote equality and education for women and continues to "give voice to the deprived and silenced women of Afghanistan". In 1979 she campaigned against DRA, and organized meetings in schools to mobilize support against it, and in 1981, she launched a bilingual feminist magazine, Payam-e-Zan (Women's Message).[2] She also founded Watan Schools to aid refugee children and their mothers, offering both hospitalization and the teaching of practical skills.[3]

At the end of 1981, by invitation of the French Government Meena represented the Afghan resistance movement at the French Socialist Party Congress. The Soviet delegation at the Congress, headed by Boris Ponamaryev, left the hall as participants cheered when Meena started waving a victory sign.[4]

Time Magazine on November 13, 2006, in a special issue included Meena among "60 Asian Heroes" and wrote that "Although she was only 30 when she died, Meena had already planted the seeds of an Afghan women's rights movement based on the power of knowledge." [5]

RAWA says of her "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."[4]

An enduring quote from Meena states:

Death[edit]

She was assassinated in Quetta, Pakistan on February 4, 1987. Reports vary as to who the assassins were, but are believed to have been agents of the Afghan Intelligence Service KHAD, the Afghan secret police, or of fundamentalist Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.[1][6]

Kamal was married to Afghanistan Liberation Organization leader Faiz Ahmad,[7] who himself was murdered by agents of Hekmatyar on November 12, 1986.[8][9] They have three children, whose whereabouts are unknown.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Meena - Heroine of Afghanistan, (2003) book by Melody Ermachild Chavis ISBN 0-312-30689-X.

References[edit]

External links[edit]