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Sat., April 11, 2009, 5:29 a.m.

The Placation from Afghanistan…

David Horsey,, (The Spokesman-Review)
David Horsey,, (The Spokesman-Review)

Good morning, Netizens...

We take a lot for granted in our great country. Most people reading this probably ate at least one good meal yesterday; even our homeless can eat a good meal occasionally. We can worship our Gods in a church of our choosing, and ostensibly have a democratic government elected by the people.

In today's David Horsey cartoon, however, we see an aspect of women's lives in Afghanistan which simply put, would not be tolerated here in the United States, that being women's rights.

During the rule of the Taliban (1996 - 2001), women were treated worse than in any other society. They were forbidden to work, leave the house without a male escort, not allowed to seek medical help from a male doctor, and forced to cover themselves from head to toe, even covering their eyes. Women who were doctors and teachers before, suddenly were forced to be beggars and even prostitutes in order to feed their families.

Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the plight of Afghani women has dramatically improved, but with only cursory examination you can see where a lot still needs to change.

Granted, women have been allowed to return back to work, the government no longer forces them to wear the all covering burqa, and they even have been appointed to prominent positions in the government. Despite all these changes many challenges still remain. That is just inside the cities.

If you travel into the rural areas, the repression of women is still prevalent where many families still restrict their own mothers, daughters, wives and sisters from participation in public life. They are still forced into marriages and denied a basic education. Numerous school for girls have been burned down and little girls have even been poisoned to death for daring to go to school.

Some basic facts:

Every 30 minutes, an Afghan woman dies giving birth, as the health care system is nearly nonexistent.

Nearly 87% of Afghan women are illiterate, although this number is slowly dropping.

Only 30% of young women have access to education.

1 in 3 Afghan women have experienced physical, psychological or sexual violence.

The life expectancy for Afghan women is 44 years of age.

Nearly 80% of Afghan women still face forced marriages.

We never see nor hear much about this here in Spokane. That, too, seems to be a shame on us all.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.