Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why Supporting Afghan Women is Imperative to Peace

Geraldine Brooks "It is impossible to say, now, what would have happened..."

Why Peace is the Business of Men... and Shouldn't Be ...Men at the negotiating table still jockey for power and wealth -- notably control of a country’s natural resources -- while women included at any level of negotiations commonly advocate for interests that coincide perfectly with those of civil society. Women are concerned about their children and consequently about shelter, clean water, sanitation, jobs, health care, education, and the like -- all those things that make life livable for peaceable men, women, and children anywhere. The conclusion is self-evident. Bring women to the table in decision-making roles in equal numbers with male participants and the nature of peace negotiations changes altogether.

Ann Jones "We don't have as many women in our Congress as Afghanistan has in theirs... Women were put into the Parliment by the arrangements made through tht international community that required 25% quota for women... but can you imagine suggesting that we should have a quota. in this country so that 25% of our representatives in Congress be women? We'd be stoned!" We foist it onto the countries we are trying to democratize, but the notion of democratizing our own country in that way is unthinkable!"

Tomcast: "You can put $130 million taxpayer dollars into a new aircraft-fueling system at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or billions of taxpayer dollars into the Pakistani military (defending a country in which the rich go notoriously untaxed), but not one cent for peace. As for women, well, too bad."

"If they ask you why we died, tell them because our fathers lied." Essay by Ray McGovern, retired CIA analyst

Sadiqa Basiri Saleem: As a refugee living in Pakistan, Sadiqa Basiri Saleem was close to earning a medical degree when the Taliban shut down her Afghan-run school. When she returned home to Wardak province after the fall of the Taliban, she found 150,000 girls with no hope for an education — for years, the regime had forbidden girls over the age of eight from attending school.

Help the organizations that help:

Women for Afghan Women

Women for Women helping women survive war

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women's rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.

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