Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-25-03

Afghanistan: US Role Expected to Increase, Girls' School Burned Down

As the Bush administration continues to consider plans to increase aid and peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan, another girls' school was burned down last week. The incident at a tented school 30 miles south of Kabul follows the arson of another school for girls located in a neighboring district, according to the Associated Press. Letters were distributed by extremist Islamic groups taking credit for the arsons, saying that they did not want girls' schools and threatening to kill those who work for the Afghan government, AP reports. These recent events follow the same pattern as the more than a dozen schools that were burned down or bombed last fall.

Even after the fall of the Taliban, women and girls face restrictions on their rights. The security situation in the country is so unstable that many women are afraid to leave their homes. The Christian Science Monitor reports that even in Kabul, the only area of the country with international peacekeeping troops, women who have shed the burqa are still wearing a long shawl called a chador out of fear of being harassed or attacked by soldiers and police. "When I did not put on a burqa, my problems started as soon as I stepped outside of the house," Rahila Khan, a student at Kabul University, told the Monitor. "People in the neighborhood taunted my parents, policemen and soldiers called me a prostitute, and I was sexually harassed on several occasions."

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that, after pressure from members of Congress and women's and human rights groups, the Bush administration over the next few weeks will announce a plan to increase reconstruction aid, to double the size of the national army, and possibly expand peacekeeping forces to other major cities in addition to Kabul. Similar plans to possibly expand troops were announced last August as well, but one year later, the 4,800-member peacekeeping force is still the same size and remains limited to Kabul. The US has only distributed $900 million in aid to Afghanistan since October 2001, and most of that aid has been emergency humanitarian and food assistance rather than the kind of major reconstruction aid needed to rebuild the country. In addition, only 16 percent of the aid has gone directly to the Afghan government, according to CARE International. Most of the aid has gone to international nongovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies. A recent report by the Rand Corporation found that Afghanistan has received only $52 of per capita external assistance, compared with $1,390 for the first two years of conflict in Bosnia and $814 in Kosovo.

The Feminist Majority is leading the call for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.

TAKE ACTION Urge Bush to Expand Peacekeeping Troops in Afghanistan

DONATE to the Campaign to Help Afghan Women and Girls

Media Resources: Associated Press 8/22/03; Christian Science Monitor 8/25/03; New York Times 8/25/03; Rand report 7/28/03; Feminist Majority


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

3/27/2015 Security and Women's Rights are Essential to Afghan Recovery - President Ashraf Ghani and a delegation of some 70 plus Afghan leaders came to the US this week to urge Congress and President Obama to extend the deadline for removing support troops from Afghanistan. . . .
 
3/27/2015 Senate 'Vote-A-Rama' Passes Amendments for Equal Pay, Pregnant Workers, Paid Leave, Benefits for Same-Sex Couples - A bipartisan majority of Senators this week voted in favor of budget amendments that show growing momentum for paid sick leave for employees, social security and veterans benefits for same-sex couples, equal pay, and fair treatment for pregnant workers. The votes, though significant, are symbolic. . . .
 
3/25/2015 Afghan Woman Beaten to Death for Burning Koran - A 27-year-old woman ‎who reportedly burned a copy of the Koran inside of a riverside shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan was brutally beaten and burned alive on Thursday. Shocking videos quickly spread on social media showing crowds of men surrounded by hundreds of onlookers assaulting the 27-year-old Farkhunda with bricks and sticks and repeatedly kicking her. . . .