Women in Afghanistan and their plight under the Taliban have been the focus of Western media since the ouster, in 2001, of the Taliban regime. However, it is worth reminding that the Afghani women have endured nearly three decades of war and violence since the invasion of their country by the Soviet Red Army in 1979. Since then, millions of Afghan citizens, many of them women and children, have fled to neighboring Pakistan and Iran in search of a better life.
Sharmini Peries of The Real News Network sits down in an interview with Mavis Leno, the chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan, to discuss the organization's efforts to help women in Afghanistan and improve their social and economic status.
Watch this interview
Leno states that her organization's efforts started in the late 1990's when the Taliban was still in power. Calling the treatment of women under the Taliban "the most glaring instance of institutionalized abuse of women", Leno describes that their current efforts revolve around ensuring the rights of Afghan women, granted to them under the post-Taliban constitution, are enforced properly. She goes on to say that since women in most countries are treated and viewed as minority, therefore women should struggle for equal rights the way minorities struggle. Leno points out to the existence of equal rights and access to education and jobs by Afghan women in the past and suggests that one of the main goals of the Obama administration should be the enforcement of the same laws that were reinstated under the post-Taliban constitution. She then goes on to outline the impediments to success in Afghanistan and describes how they can be overcome.
Full transcript available on The Real News Network
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