An influential group of Canadian and American women is asking Ottawa to take steps to restore women's rights in Afghanistan. The Taliban fundamentalist regime has denied women their basic human rights including education, work, and the ability to leave their homes without a close male relative.
The group, including Sally Armstrong, editor-at-large of Chatelaine magazine, and The Body Shop Canada president Margot Franssen, has asked Ottawa Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy to be more of a leader in addressing the abuses of women in Afghanistan.
Armstrong recognized American, Canadian and European women have protested this treatment to the United Nations, but the conditions for women in Afghanistan remain "worse than ever."
The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan has over 150 leading human rights and women's organizations, in the U.S. and around the world. The Campaign has already had a major impact on U.S. policy towards Afghanistan, helping to double the number of Afghan refugees allowed in to the U.S. each year and to stop the U.S. and U.N. from recognizing the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan.