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

9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges. President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
 
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment. Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .
 
9/11/2014 Missouri Legislators Pass 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Law - Missouri legislators voted late last night to triple the state's current 24-hour waiting period to 72 hours, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Governor Jay Nixon previously vetoed the bill in July, calling it "extreme and disrespectful." Missouri's House voted 117-44 to override the veto, and then the Senate used a procedural move to stop a Democratic filibuster of the bill and vote 23-7 to complete the veto override Wednesday. "The only purpose of a 72-hour waiting period is to attempt to punish, shame, and demean women who have arrived at a personal decision that politicians happen to disagree with," said the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement. . . .