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-05-98

Report Reveals Firsthand Accounts of Afghan Women's Health Under the Taliban Regime

Physicians for Human Rights has published a report, "The Taliban's War on Women," that details first-hand accounts of the everyday impact of the militant regime's policies concerning the health, well-being, and economic survival of their female citizens.

The report said that the prohibition against women working has driven many to destitution and begging. "As a widow, I have no support system in this society, and I am about to lose my mind," said one woman interviewed for the report. Another said, "[The Taliban] took away the only thing that kept me from losing my mind [after my husband's death]-- my job and my income. I lost my income, my future, and almost my sanity."

The report also described the emotional and physical terrorism under which Afghan women live. One women said, "My mother's aunt, an elderly woman, was flogged by a Taliban militia member because her ankle was showing. She was beaten with a metal cable, and her leg was broken." "Any slight divergence from the dress code results in beating," said another woman. "We live in terror."

Women's fear of being beaten discourages them from seeking health care, the authors concluded. One mother could not take her daughter to the hospital when she had stomach pains because she did not own a burqa, the required full-body covering. As a result, the 20-year-old daughter suffered for days before she died.

Last September, all hospitals in Kabul were ordered to suspend service to the city's half-million female population, excluding one clinic without running water, electricity, surgical equipment, x-ray machines, or oxygen. The Taliban rescinded some of these regulations after talks with the Red Cross, but women continue to receive inadequate care.

Physicians for Human Rights urged all humanitarian aid providers to overcome barriers to humanitarian aid for women and make Afghanistan aid a priority. The also called for further examination of corporations that support the Taliban by investing in Afghanistan's gas and oil reserves. Such groups include UNOCAL in California and Bridas in Argentina.


Media Resources: The Washington Post - August 5, 1998


© 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

10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately. The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
 
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state. Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations. More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .
 
10/28/2014 Ohio Officials Threaten to Close Cincinnati's Last Remaining Abortion Clinic - Ohio's TRAP law may soon force the last remaining abortion clinic in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area to close, leaving an estimated 2.1 million people without access to a comprehensive reproductive healthcare site. Planned Parenthood's Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center received a notice earlier this week from state health officials threatening to shut down the facility for failure to obtain a transfer agreement with a local private hospital. Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed into law a requirement that abortion clinics obtain a written agreement with a local hospital willing to take patients from the clinic in an emergency, despite the fact that emergencies are extremely rare and hospital emergency rooms must already accept patients. . . .