In an awards ceremony for human rights activists last week, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton blasted the Taliban for its abuse of human rights, and particularly women's rights.
"Perhaps the most egregious and systematic trampling of fundamental human rights of any person is taking place in Afghanistan today against women under the iron rule of the Taliban," said Clinton, with sharp condemnation.
In addition to citing Taliban decrees which forbid women from working and attending school, Clinton called special attention to the fact that Afghan women are dying from treatable illnesses, due to lack of proper medical care. "The Taliban has imposed a draconian Catch-22 on women," she said. "Health care for women has all but vanished. Women can no longer be treated by male doctors, yet women physicians are prohibited from working."