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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-28-98

U.S. Oil Company Joins in Business Partnership with World's Most Repressive Regime

Shareholders, Women’s Rights and Human Rights Groups Protest Against Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan During UNOCAL’S Annual Shareholders Meeting

Los Angeles --
WHO: Shareholders, women’s rights groups, and human rights groups protest at UNOCAL annual shareholder’s meeting.

WHAT: Women’s rights and human rights groups will protest outside of California-based UNOCAL’s annual shareholders meeting while concerned shareholders confront UNOCAL board members and officers inside about the company’s business partnership with the Taliban, a fundamentalist Islamic militia in Afghanistan, that has imposed a brutal state of gender apartheid in which women and girls have been stripped of their most basic human rights since they came into power.

WHEN: 9:30 - 10:30 AM, Monday, June 1, 1998

WHERE: 376 Valencia Ave. in Brea, CA @ the corner of Imperial Hwy. and Valencia Ave.

UNOCAL is part of a consortium that has entered into a contract with the Taliban to build a multi-billion dollar oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan. Already under pressure, UNOCAL’s company web page states, “UNOCAL will not conduct business with any party in Afghanistan until peace is achieved and a government recognized by international lending agencies is in place.” Yet, the press has reported that a delegation of top Taliban officials met with UNOCAL in Texas in December 1997 to discuss the building of the pipeline. Also, the University of Nebraska at Omaha says it has a contract with UNOCAL for nearly $1 million to train workers in Afghanistan specifically for pipeline construction. The training is now underway.

In 1996, the Taliban instituted a regime of gender apartheid which has stripped women and girls of their basic human rights. Under Taliban rule women are forbidden to work outside the home, forced to wear the burqa - a garment which completely shrouds the body under thick layers of fabric, they can not leave the confines of their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative, male doctors are not allowed to examine them, they are forbidden to wear white socks, and their shoes can not make noise when they walk. Girls and women are prohibited from attending schools and universities. Many women and girls have been stoned and shot for violations of the Taliban’s edicts.

Editor’s Note: Interviews with Kathy Spillar, National Coordinator of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Mavis Leno, Feminist Majority Foundation Board Member, and investment advisor Shelley Alpern of the Franklin Research and Development Corporation can be arranged by calling Amy Sheller or Jackie Smith at 213/651-0495. For further information on Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan visit the Feminist Majority’s website at

Media Resources:


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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