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Afghan Women

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NEWS
October 7, 2010 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Last week, I attended a glitzy ceremony in New York City in which Bill Clinton awarded one of five Global Citizen Awards to Suraya Pakzad, who runs shelters for abused Afghan women. The crowd of eminent humanitarians, environmentalists, and cultural pooh-bahs cheered. But I felt a chill as I listened to Pakzad, whose organization I visited last year in Herat, Afghanistan. She spoke of her fear that Western troops will leave and let the Taliban retake the country, and all the fragile gains made by Afghan women in recent years will vanish.
NEWS
November 27, 2001 | By Sara Isadora Mancuso INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Police officers escort her. Metal detectors are used at doors to rooms in which she speaks. At some locations, a protective screen blocks her face from cameras. She uses the alias Tahmeena Faryal. Working underground in Pakistan, the young woman risks execution by the Taliban. Her crimes: educating and bringing medical care to Afghan women. Faryal was accompanied by a police officer at an open forum at Rutgers University-Camden yesterday. She firmly and repeatedly refused to have her face photographed by the media.
NEWS
April 14, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
What do Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton agree on? They, like many other prominent Americans, talk effusively about helping Afghan women. The fate of Afghan women is also a subject that grabs the attention of Americans who have otherwise lost interest in that country. When Afghans voted last week, much of the U.S. media coverage focused on lines of burka-clad female voters at the polls. So let's assume (and it's far from certain) that this interest in Afghan women is genuine and will outlast the U.S. troop exit at the end of 2014.
NEWS
February 28, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Last week, Georgetown University inaugurated a new Institute for Women, Peace, and Security to research the role of women in mitigating global conflicts. The institute was first announced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who made promotion of women's rights a signature part of her tenure. Clinton funded aid programs to train women leaders in developing countries for government, civil society, and peace negotiations. Ambassador Melanne Verveer, who will head the Georgetown institute - and ran Clinton's office for Global Women's Issues - clearly hopes to build on that legacy in her new role.
NEWS
November 28, 2001 | By AMY E. POLLACK
WITH THE collapse of the Taliban government, all eyes are on the next challenge: rebuilding an Afghanistan that is a member of the community of nations. First lady Laura Bush and others have called for ensuring the rights of women in this "new" Afghanistan. Without the full and free participation of one-half of its people, no nation can succeed. But rights alone will not ensure participation. Women must be literate, healthy and strong. They must be able to control their fertility, avoid death in childbirth, and escape the scourge of AIDS.
NEWS
March 25, 2012
What will happen to Afghan women? As the United States winds down its presence in Afghanistan and tries to talk to the Taliban, will Afghan women pay the price? Will the gains they've made over the last decade be rolled back? Last week, I heard Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton make a passionate commitment to the contrary at a lunch marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Afghan Women's Council. During "this period of transition," she said, "it's absolutely critical we protect these gains and expand on them.
NEWS
November 27, 2001 | By Crispin Sartwell
We smugly condemn the Taliban's treatment of women and hence implicitly congratulate ourselves on our own. When the topic of Afghan women comes up, discussion almost always starts - and sometimes ends - with the burqa. The clearest indication of oppression seems to be that Afghan women are draped in cloth. But now recall the feminist critique of the way women's bodies are displayed in our own culture. The use of the burqa arises from an obsessive sexualization of the female body by men. The use of the female body in American media - and for that matter on the streets of our cities or in our nightclubs - also arises from an obsessive sexualization of the female body.
NEWS
February 28, 1999 | By Barbara Demick, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Hunched over a typewriter in a classroom for secretarial students and with her small face wrapped in a black chador, 20-year-old Zarmina Akbari hardly fits the Western concept of a feminist. Yet this young Afghan, from her teens on, has been a fearless advocate for the cause of educating women. Akbari was only 17, a promising math student in Herat, in western Afghanistan, when the radical Taliban seized power and barred females from attending school. Stuck at home with nothing to do - even watching television was banned - Akbari and her sister set up an elementary school for girls in their living room.
NEWS
December 3, 2001
For four long years, the world shuddered at the plight of women in Afghanistan. The fact that all Afghan women were forced to dress as floating tents probably was what shocked Westerners the most. But other rights violations were more serious. Under the Taliban, women were denied the right to work, to travel freely, to go to school, to receive equal health care. Among other crimes, the Taliban will be remembered as likely the only regime in human history to place its nation's women - half the population - under virtual house arrest.
NEWS
March 23, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Many Afghan women worry their recent gains will be lost after the last U.S. troops leave. But the story of Suraya Pakzad - a courageous Afghan woman with links to Philadelphia and Scranton - shows how ordinary Americans can help Afghan women preserve their rights. Pakzad runs five shelters for Afghan women who flee domestic violence or forced marriages. (I have visited her first shelter, in Herat, a large city in western Afghanistan.) The shelters are mainly financed with funding from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
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NEWS
March 23, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Many Afghan women worry their recent gains will be lost after the last U.S. troops leave. But the story of Suraya Pakzad - a courageous Afghan woman with links to Philadelphia and Scranton - shows how ordinary Americans can help Afghan women preserve their rights. Pakzad runs five shelters for Afghan women who flee domestic violence or forced marriages. (I have visited her first shelter, in Herat, a large city in western Afghanistan.) The shelters are mainly financed with funding from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
NEWS
December 1, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
At a time when most foreign news is unremittingly grim, I have a good-news story to tell - about the first women-only restaurant in western Afghanistan, called the Scranton Restaurant. That name reflects the fact that the restaurant is a joint project of a noted woman activist in Herat, Afghanistan, and her counterparts in Scranton, Pa., who raised $20,000 to get the restaurant started. The Scranton Restaurant is a rare place where Afghan women, young and old, can socialize outside their homes in safety.
NEWS
April 14, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
What do Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton agree on? They, like many other prominent Americans, talk effusively about helping Afghan women. The fate of Afghan women is also a subject that grabs the attention of Americans who have otherwise lost interest in that country. When Afghans voted last week, much of the U.S. media coverage focused on lines of burka-clad female voters at the polls. So let's assume (and it's far from certain) that this interest in Afghan women is genuine and will outlast the U.S. troop exit at the end of 2014.
NEWS
April 11, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
When Afghans went to the polls last week to elect a new president, Afghan social media enthusiasts sent out some incredible photos of women voters. The long, snaking lines of women in burkas, holding up sheets of plastic for protection from freezing rain, were a stunning repudiation of Taliban misogyny and violence. My favorite photo, tweeted by an Afghan journalist named Shafi Sharifi, showed an elderly, black-draped lady in a wheelchair, holding up a forefinger stained with indelible ink, saying: "I voted because women can't expect things to improve if they don't vote.
NEWS
November 25, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
At a recent Georgetown University symposium, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Laura Bush, and John Kerry all urged Americans not to abandon Afghan women after U.S. troops exit next year. Their pleas were emotional. Bush, who, together with Clinton, has taken up the cause of Afghan women, said she feared that "once the troops leave, American eyes will move away. I want the people of Afghanistan to know the people of America are with them. " Secretary of State Kerry recalled the anxiety he has heard from Afghan women who have "legitimate concerns that the gains of the past decade could be lost.
NEWS
February 28, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Last week, Georgetown University inaugurated a new Institute for Women, Peace, and Security to research the role of women in mitigating global conflicts. The institute was first announced by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who made promotion of women's rights a signature part of her tenure. Clinton funded aid programs to train women leaders in developing countries for government, civil society, and peace negotiations. Ambassador Melanne Verveer, who will head the Georgetown institute - and ran Clinton's office for Global Women's Issues - clearly hopes to build on that legacy in her new role.
NEWS
December 24, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
As the year draws to a close, I want to pay tribute to a few brave men and women who have been fighting in 2012 for dignity, justice, and peace in some of the world's most troubled countries. My list is limited by space considerations. So I've chosen to focus on people I've been privileged to meet or whom I've learned about from contacts in their countries. What distinguishes them is that each has chosen to struggle, at great risk, for values that most of us take for granted - though their odds of success are small.
NEWS
December 16, 2012 | VOTERAMA IN CONGRESS
WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week: House Ozone layer depletion. Voting 229-182, the House on Wednesday failed to reach a two-thirds majority needed to pass a bill (HR 6190) allowing the sell-off of inventories of a certain asthma inhaler that has been banned from sale since Dec. 31, 2011, because its chlorofluorocarbon emissions damage the ozone layer. The product is Primatene Mist, a "CFC epinephrine" inhaler manufactured by Armstrong Pharmaceuticals.
NEWS
September 17, 2012 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - In a disastrous day for the NATO force in Afghanistan, four American troops were gunned down Sunday by Afghan police, a U.S. airstrike killed eight Afghan women foraging for fuel on a rural hillside, and military officials disclosed that a Taliban strike on a southern base had destroyed more than $150 million worth of planes and equipment - in money terms, by far the costliest single insurgent attack in 11 years of warfare....
NEWS
March 27, 2012
Sacrificing rights of women Trudy Rubin asks if the United States is committed to the rights of Afghan women, and then largely answers it in the negative ("Will gains of Afghan women be sacrificed?" Sunday). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may say that it is "absolutely critical" that we protect the rights of women, but given that our secret talks with the Taliban have frozen women negotiators out, and that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has renounced constitutional protections for women and endorsed wife-beating, the handwriting is on the wall.
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