Gender, Politics

Schooling is a human right, and Afghanistan’s girls are being deprived of it by a systematic campaign waged by gunmen and warlords who were propelled into power by the United States and its coalition partners after the Taliban fell in 2001″ according to Human Rights Watch.

The 101-page report, Killing You Is a Very Easy Thing for Us”: Human Rights Abuses in Southeast Afghanistan, documents army and police troops kidnapping Afghans and holding them for ransom in unofficial prisons; breaking into households and robbing families; raping women, girls and boys; and extorting shopkeepers and bus, truck and taxi drivers. …

Because soldiers are targeting women and girls, many are staying indoors, especially in rural areas, making it impossible for them to attend school, go to work, or actively participate in the country’s reconstruction. In many places, human rights abuses are driving many Afghan families to keep their girls out of school. The atmosphere of violence, along with resurgent religious fundamentalism in parts of the country, is endangering the most important human rights improvement since the end of the Taliban–the ability of girls to go back to school.

Bush may have distracted everyone from the failure to find Bin Laden by going to war in Iraq, but now it is time to make him live up to his promises to the Afghan people! In the 70s Afghan women were making great strides. It is only because the US and Pakistan found it useful to support the most repressive elements in society (in order to fight the Russians) that things have become like this. Now it is our responsibility to help make things better!