I just watched the 11-minute video clip “Women of Afghanistan”, from Rethinkafghanistan.com.
It is very compelling.
At about 6:40 minutes, there’s a great short interview with Wall Street Journal correspondent Anand Gopal who explains very clearly that, while Afghan women were “imprisoned inside their houses” both under the Taliban and today, today many of them are also, in addition, living in the middle of a war zone in which women and children are disproportionately casualties.
He says (paraphrased),
- I have heard some women say that their life was better under the Taliban because, though they were also imprisoned then, at least there was not this big pervasive war.
The film then has segments of interviews with a number of leading Afghan women activists, many of them far from ideologically “extreme”, who expand on this same point.
One of them notes the devastating effect on Afghan women of the war deaths of husbands and other family members, noting that even war widows find it impossible to go our and earn a living, so they watch their families fall into deep impoverishment.
Another notes the bad effects of the US military presence, which is still increasing.
A woman from RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, says explicitly, “If they really want to help women in Afghanistan, they should end this war.”
Another interviewee says, “I don’t expect anyone from outside to come and ‘liberate’ us. Afghan women will liberate ourselves.”
For any American who still thinks that in some way the US invasion of Afghanistan probably “helped” Afghan women, this video is very important to see.
Siun at FireDogLake also has a good supplementary commentary. (HT: HuffPo.)