Afghan Shame,…. on women’s liberation and other lies.

To be sure, a lot of well-meaning Westerners and courageous Afghans have worked very hard to improve women’s conditions, and there has been some headway as far as women’s rights are concerned. The number of girls signed up for school rose from just 5,000 before the U.S.-led invasion to 2.2 million. In Kabul and a handful of other cities, some women have swapped their polyester burqas for headscarves. Some even have taken jobs outside their homes. But here, too, progress has been uneven. A fifth of the girls enrolled in school never attend classes, and most of the rest drop out after fourth grade. Few Afghan parents prioritize education for their daughters because few Afghan women participate in the country’s feudal economy, and because Afghan society, by and large, does not welcome education for girls or emancipation of women. To get an idea about what the general Afghan public thinks of emancipation, consider this: the post-2001 neologism “khanum free” — “free woman,” with the adjective transliterated from the English — means “a loose woman,” “a prostitute.” In villages, women almost never appear barefaced in front of strangers.

Doffing their burqas is the least of these women’s worry. Their real problem is the intangible and seemingly irremovable shroud of endless violence. It stunts infrastructure and perpetuates insecurity and fear. It deprives women of the basic human rights we take for granted: to have enough food and drinking water that doesn’t fester with disease; to see all of their children live past the age of five. The absence of basic necessities and the violence that has concussed Afghanistan almost continuously since the beginning of recorded history are the main reasons the country has the fifth-lowest life expectancy in the world. The war Westerners often claim to be fighting in the name of Afghan women instead helps prolong their hardship — with little or no compensation. And now, as the deadline for the international troop pullout approaches, the country is spinning toward a full-blown civil war.

via A Shameful Neglect – By Anna Badkhen

Foreign Policy.


2 thoughts on “Afghan Shame,…. on women’s liberation and other lies.

  1. I understand your point, and this is a really difficult and complicated issue. But I see poverty, violence and the burka and the rest of the oppression of women and girls as interconnected. A small example: I live in a rich, Scandinavian country, with an oil economy, but our prime minister just said that the effort from our women in the work force has more value for our GNP than the oil. If you oppress half the population, how can you have prosperity? Or humanity?

    • Of course everything is interconnected,… but we’ve been 10 years there. Even in war, many things can change in 10 years. If half of the cost of military occupation had been spent in education, infrastructures and offering population an alternative future to opium fields, maybe the pashtunwari (the pashtun moral code) would still be at work, but new generations would have an horizon and an idea of how to get Afghanistan out of that vicious hell that has been since late 19th century, and specially since late 20th.

      Regarding women. we have helped very little, and still they had some improvements… still far from the 1960’s believe me.

      We could have made much more in 10 years to offer afghanis a base for a civilised society and that could only happen offering women a real importance in afghan life… We failed strepitously in it. And with this failure we put an end to the illusion of spreading good will thru fight and occupation.

      A really sad lie that justified a mistaken strategy, to make us believe that there had to be some plan, and a plan beyond military ops.

      … too much asking for the country that led us all, while at home 30 thousand people die yearly in USA because of personal fire arms. And this is based on constitutional rights. Wtf of a moral plan is that.

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