Group to read stories from Afghan women

The cast in rehearsal SUS-140705-113925001
The cast in rehearsal SUS-140705-113925001

On Monday May 19 at 7.45pm, the Horsham and Crawley Amnesty International Group will be presenting a reading of ‘Even If We Lose Our Lives’ in the Studio at the Hawth Theatre.

Using a script compiled exclusively from the first-hand accounts of Afghan women human rights defenders, Crawley’s Pitchy Breath Theatre Group voices the women’s powerfully affecting testimony, underlining the risks to women’s freedom posed by any resurgence of the Taliban.

The reading, before an audience including the Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Bob Burgess, will last about 45 minutes and will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the issues raised with Chris Usher, Amnesty International UK’s Country Co-ordinator for Afghanistan. There will also be the opportunity to take part in actions in support of Afghan women.

This event forms part of Amnesty International UK’s campaign on women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Afghan women are too often portrayed as faceless, passive victims who are powerless to change the grave human rights abuses which regularly affect them. The script is based on the actual accounts of three women – Parween, whose teenage son was kidnapped and killed because she runs a girls’ school, Dr D, a gynaecologist whose son was injured in a bomb blast, and Manizha, who runs the largest Afghan organisation working on violence against women and girls at great personal cost.

Horsham and Crawley Amnesty International Group are hoping that “Even If We Lose Our Lives” can inspire the local community and contribute to more action protecting these women and the rights they are fighting fight for.

Jackie Fry, a spokesperson for the local Horsham and Crawley Amnesty International Group said:

Afghan human rights defenders – doctors, policewomen, teachers – are truly on the frontline fighting for peace and security in their country, and they do so in extremely dangerous circumstances.

We very much hope that the local community will join us in supporting them.

Report and picture contributed by Horsham and Crawley Amnesty International Group.