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#Whereismyname: Afghan Women Claims their Right to Identity

#Whereismyname: Afghan Women Claims their Right to Identity

#WhereIsMyName – a social media campaign in Afghanistan demands women to be called with their own names. It is challenging the centuries old tradition of calling women as ‘wife of’ or ‘daughter of someone.

In Afghanistan, women are not called by their real name. Even on wedding invites and gravestones, their names are omitted. But young Afghan girls want to change that.

The movement started when a handful of women posted comments and photos on Facebook. It started in Afghan’s western city of Herat. The campaign gained traction on Facebook and Twitter where women posted photos with their names using the hashtag #WhereIsMyName.

Many men joined the campaign by posting photos of their wives with their names. Many celebrities backed the campaign as well.

The movement held their first public event where a government minister and several scholars made speeches. Arian who helped organized the event said: “We have got together to break a taboo. We want our women to know about their basic right to be called by their own name, to have their own identity.”

In Afghan culture, a man loses his honor if he calls his wife by her name. The campaign has not only received positive reviews but was also severely criticized. Some called it ‘misleading Afghan Women’ while others called the protestors as ‘Prostitutes’.

While only a few women have access to the internet and comparatively less active on social media, the culture is less expected to change.

 

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