Afghan Widows Not America’s Enemy

Afghan women – and widows in particular — are among the poorest and most disenfranchised people in the world. Under Taliban rule, women were forced to wear burqas (garments that fully cover a woman’s body and head) and were not allowed to work. Girls were not allowed to attend school.

Even after the Taliban’s defeat, life for women in Afghanistan remains bleak at best.

According to the United Nations, 85% of all Afghan women are illiterate and women’s wages remain about one-third of men’s. Women, especially in rural areas, can’t go out in public without a male relative accompanying them. There are about 50,000 widows in Kabul alone.

When an Afghan woman’s husband dies, his property is passed not to her, but to his family. How is she to survive? How will she provide for her children? The brutal truth is, without a husband, an Afghan woman may be forced to send her children to the streets to beg for money.

When these women speak of their children, they express the same desires for them that Americans have — education, access to health care, peace and security. These ideals are not American. They are universal.

These women are not America's enemy. They are victims of a war that has waged within Afghanistan for over 30 years.

What is the United States to do? Its time they eradicated the Taliban. When Barack Obama takes power in January 2009 he will have the option of taking US troops out of Iraq and sending them back into Afghanistan to finish the job.

George W. Bush was incompetent, we all know that, but can Barack Obama succeed where Bush failed?

No comments: