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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-12-98

Taliban Could Earn $100 Million Per Year Through Pipeline

The Taliban militia group in Afghanistan, which has banned women from working and going to school, would earn between $50 million and $100 million per year in revenues if an oil pipeline is built through Afghanistan by the U.S. oil company Unocal, according to the Washington Post.

Although the Taliban, which controls most of Afghanistan, has not been recognized as the country's official government by the United States, the United Nations, or most other countries, Unocal has already hosted Taliban leaders at a business meeting and started a $900,000 program to train Afghan men to build the pipeline. Unocal said it will begin training women in clerical and teaching jobs soon.

The Feminist Majority and other women's groups fear that plans for the pipeline, which is favored by the Clinton administration, will lead to international recognition of the Taliban and make permanent the gender apartheid of women in Afghanistan. Not only are women banned from working and going to school, but they are also banned from leaving their homes without a close male relative and without being covered head-to-toe in a garment called a "burqa."

About 70% of Kabul residents are women, many of whom are widowed and who have no close male relatives to support and escort them. Women have been shot at for leaving their homes to seek medical care.

Media Resources: Washington Post - January 11, 1998


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