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 The Taliban rescinded some of these regulations after talks with the Red Cross, but women continue to receive inadequate care.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
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .