Friday, November 2, 2012

The Real War on Women

Earlier I posted a good news story about the Afghan Premier League and the optimism it offers me about Afghanistan and its people. There's another, less pleasant side to my job. I manage a number of grants that expose the heartache and violence that many Afghans face: Adolescent girls being forced to marry old men to settle family disputes, the unrelenting violence women face on a regular basis, and the journalists who risk the Taliban's wrath to tell their stories and change attitudes toward women.

Looking at Afghanistan through the objective lens of Mission goals and American interests, I know that improving the condition of women here was not the reason we invaded. As the money coming to Afghanistan drops to a "normalized" amount, our work in this area may decrease. But one could argue that elevating the status of women in society is an antidote to the extremist voices that infect the country.

But I'll be gone by the time these decisions really come into effect. I wonder how easy it will be for me to walk away. After all, my father didn't sell me off at age 10 and I don't have a husband or in-laws who beat me senseless for not giving birth to a son. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Profound and sad...reading this in the 21st Century! It brings to mind Malala Yousafzai and women's desire for education also. One step at a time seems so trite.......
Look forward to being with you soon...hoping we can put a Library jaunt together! ....and Ah, the luxury of a fine hotel! My personal FAV...La Mamounia, Marrakech! Auntie Beth XxOo