Posts tagged ‘afghanistan’
“Girl Rising [is] a documentary-narrative hybrid about nine extraordinary girls from around the world–and the opportunities afforded them by education. The filmic equivalent of a short-story collection, each segment stars a real girl acting out an episode from her own life.
“The scripts were written by novelists from the girls’ home countries (Cambodia, Afghanistan, Peru and more) and then narrated by actresses like Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Kerry Washington. The most affecting story, for instance, was written by Haiti’s Edwidge Danticat, read by Cate Blanchett and stars an infectiously adorable child who refuses to give up on schooling in post-earthquake Port-au-Prince.”
Find a screening near you: http://girlrising.com/see-the-film/
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer has penned a brilliant and compelling piece on women for Foreign Policy. A must-read!
The most pressing global problems simply won’t be solved without the participation of women. Seriously, guys.
On a trip to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, not long after my appointment as the U.S. State Department’s ambassador at large for global women’s issues, I stopped for dinner with a group of Afghan women activists in Kabul. One woman opened our conversation with a plea: “Please don’t see us as victims, but look to us as the leaders we are.”
Those words have stuck with me as President Barack Obama’s administration has endeavored to put women at the heart of its foreign policy. For generations, the United States too often viewed the world’s women as victims of poverty and illiteracy, of violence and seemingly unbreakable cultural traditions — essentially, as beneficiaries of aid. Women’s issues existed on the margins, segregated from the more “strategic” issues of war, peace, and economic stability. Now, in a time of transformative change — from the rise of new economic powers to a growing chorus of voices against repressive regimes in the Arab world — promoting the status of women is not just a moral imperative but a strategic one; it’s essential to economic prosperity and to global peace and security. It is, in other words, a strategy for a smarter foreign policy.
Read the full article: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/why_women_are_a_foreign_policy_issue
“’We are waiting for the list that would introduce members of the Supreme Court to the lower house of Parliament, and we are very hopeful to see a woman candidate in the list,’ said Fawzia Kofi, the head of the Committee on Women’s Affairs in the Wolesi Jirga (lower house).
“But it is not merely a matter of high hopes. In previous discussions with Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi and President Hamid Karzai, Kofi and other female MPs were assured that a woman would finally make the running for one of the nine places on the top bench.
“’We will not forget this until we see a woman on the High Council of the Supreme Court,’ Kofi told Afghanistan Today…”
Read the full article: http://www.afghanistan-today.org/article/?id=196
Afghan girls throw punches, aim for Olympic gold
By Agnieszka Flak and Hassib Sadat
KABUL | Mon Jan 2, 2012 2:00am EST
(Reuters) – Teenage Afghan sisters Shabnam and Sadaf Rahimi are taking the fight for women’s rights more literally than most of their peers, throwing punches in a ring as members of their country’s first team of female boxers…
“It was my dream to become a boxer. At first my father did not agree with me. He said girls should not be boxing,” 18 year-old Sadaf told Reuters, out of breath from punching the bag. “After I got my first medal, he changed his mind.”
Read the full story here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/02/us-afghanistan-boxing-idUSTRE80104320120102
The Dressmaker of Khair Khanna, an HWHTW favorite book, has been nominated for a “Goodreads Choice Award” for Best History & Biography. Your vote can make the difference!
“The question remains as to whether Afghan women will play a substantive role in a nascent reconciliation process, which is now floundering after the murder of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani. If not, there is a looming fear that women’s rights will be negotiated away in the quest to end the war. U.S. officials working on the peace process say that the White House wants to be able to point to concrete achievements in Afghanistan in the run-up to the 2012 elections, while still being able to declare the war’s end.”
Women and War Series: Peace Unveiled in Afghanistan
Panel Discussion and Film
Hosted by Congressman Russ Carnahan, and co-hosted by the Office of Senator John Kerry and the Office of Senator Barbara Boxer, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Fork Films, the Institute for Inclusive Security, and Vital Voices, are pleased to collaborate on the pre-screening and panel discussion of the new film, “Peace Unveiled.” A discussion will follow with film producer Abigail E. Disney, film director Gini Reticker, and Michelle Barsa, Lead Advocate and Afghanistan Program Specialist at the Institute for Inclusive Security, and moderated by Kathleen Kuehnast, director of USIP’s Gender and Peacebuilding Center.
“Peace Unveiled” is the third episode of “WOMEN, WAR & PEACE,” a groundbreaking five-part PBS television series that explores women’s strategic role in conflict and peacebuilding. This documentary follows three Afghan women who have organized to protect women’s rights from being traded away in the reconciliation and reintegration process, as security operations begin to shift from ISAF to Afghan control.
Read more and register to attend: http://www.usip.org/events/women-and-war-series-peace-unveiled-in-afghanistan
“Afghan women have been renowned for centuries for hand needlework. Now the women of DOSTI, meaning “friendship” in Dari, have harnessed that heritage to handcraft club-quality fair trade soccer balls… Bearing DOSTI’s signature Doves in Flight pattern, each fair trade soccer ball purchased provides meaningful employment for Afghan women.”
Thanks to Gayle Lemmon for the tip!
Read more, or buy: http://www.globalgoodspartners.org/cart/Details.cfm?ProdID=628
Here’s a brand-new article on maternal health in Afghanistan from Gayle Lemmon and Isobel Coleman in Bloomberg Business Week. Gayle says, “Turns out that maternal health is one of the best investments the US has made in the country.”
Afghan Women Stand to Lose in U.S. Drawdown
By Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) — As the U.S. begins withdrawing from Afghanistan, Afghans are wondering whether this is the beginning of the end of serious American engagement.
After spending almost $1 trillion and suffering close to 4,000 American deaths, will Washington cut and run? Or will it seek a “responsible end” to the war, as President Barack Obama has claimed?
The answer will depend in large part on how the U.S. continues to support the Afghan government and people. Americans are understandably tired of financing big, expensive initiatives that are riddled with corruption and can’t be maintained by Afghans themselves. As incoming Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, the objective must be to invest in projects that meet the goal of “sustainable stability.”
In a worrying sign, Washington is on the verge of eviscerating one of its most successful and cost-effective programs: improving maternal health.
Women have been making strides in the effort to rebuild the Afghan military (see: Training the First Female Afghan National Army Officers), and now they’re getting wings. The first class of female military pilot recruits is in training at Lackland AFB near San Antonio, Texas:
Afghan Women Pilots Train At Lackland AFB
Women Break New Ground In Male-Dominated Culture
by Eileen Gonzales
SAN ANTONIO — Lt. Sourya Saleh, Lt Masooma Hussaina, Lt. Mary Sharifzada and Lt. Narges Safari are all in their early 20s. Although they were born with very limited possibilities in a culture dominated by men, they’re now part of a changing dynamic.
“We are going to open the door for our ladies in Afghanistan. it’s a big deal for us to open the door for others that other ladies that have dreams that they can’t do it, we want to show them,” said Lt Sourya Saleh.
“Their journey started about two years ago, when the Afghan army began looking for women to join. Then came the opportunity to become among the first female pilots in the Afghan Air Force…”
Read the full aticle: http://www.ksat.com/news/28535240/detail.html
Women-run Afghan media offer untold side of story
By Amie Ferris-Rotman
KABUL, July 5 (Reuters) – Farida Nekzad has faced threats of kidnapping, acid attacks and a plot to blow up her apartment since she founded her first news agency in Afghanistan seven years ago….
But the mother-of-one, whose most recent project is a news agency that spearheads coverage of the problems that Afghan women face, is undeterred. Wakht, or ‘Time’ in Nekzad’s native Dari, is one of a handful of majority female media outlets springing up across a country where women’s voices often go unheard.
Read the full article: http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/news/women-run-afghan-media-offer-untold-side-of-story/
David Chavern: “Business is the answer, not the problem.”
David Chavern: “Countries that treat women badly, do badly.”
Gayle Lemmon: “Women make sure there’s a community to go back to when the war is over.”
Gayle Lemmon: “In tough parts of the world, women turn to business to make sure their children get fed.”
Gayle Lemmon: “Unsung heroines and aspiring entrepreneurs are all around us.”
Mary Schnack: “Women don’t need to be sitting on a dirt floor to need help growing their businesses.”
Mary Schnack: “We need to help women recognize themselves as leaders and be honored as leaders”
Gayle Lemmon: “Afghan women are desperate for peace, but afraid it will come at the price of their right to go to work and school.”
More to come!
“The 2011 Mother’s Index from Save the Children ranks the United States thirty-first among 164 countries in the well-being of mothers and children, as measured by health, education, and economic status. According to State of the World’s Mothers 2011 (42 pages, PDF), Norway, Australia, and Iceland are the three “best places to be a mother,” while eight of the ten “worst” countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa. Ranked at the very bottom is Afghanistan, where a woman typically has fewer than five years of education and the mortality rate for children under the age of five is 20 percent. The report features essays from former business and military leaders, politicians, academics, and religious leaders, including members of Save the Children’s board, that highlight the effectiveness of low-cost, low-tech strategies designed to improve access to basic health care and which suggest that women’s empowerment is not only a moral imperative, but in the economic, environmental, and national security interest of the United States. “
If you’re in the D.C. area, join the Women’s Foreign Policy Group for a discussion of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana with author (and HWHTW favorite) Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
“In The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, journalist and author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the story of Kamela Sediqi, the unlikely breadwinner who became an entrepreneur in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Desperate to support her brothers and sisters and unable to earn a living outside the home, she started a dressmaking business in her living room which offered work to 100 women in her community. Together these unsung heroines made the difference between survival and starvation for their families under Taliban rule.”
Reception and Program
Academy for Educational Development
1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, 8th Floor Board Room
Space is limited. Advance registration is required.
WFPG Members— $15 Non-Members— $20
Greg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea Fame interviewed Gayle Lemmon on her new book, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana. Here’s a teaser:
Greg Mortenson: In The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, Kamila and her sisters sew a collection of wedding dresses overnight for a wedding party they later find out is connected to the Taliban. How did writing this book affect your view of the Taliban period?
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: That scene in the book captures precisely the extraordinary complexity of the period. Reporting on the Taliban period I quickly learned there were many different views of what those years were like, depending on who you were, what you did, and where you lived. A lot of women I knew, including, of course, Kamila, told me stories about local Talibs who knew of their work and even helped them to keep it going. And they said that many of the Taliban in their neighborhood were men they had known for years who simply needed to support their families. What I kept coming back to—and what moved me deeply during so many conversations with young women , some of them tearful—was the raw loss they felt at having been deprived of five and a half years of education. And yet even amid all that despair they found ways to come together to build a community for the sake of their families. We are so used to seeing women as victims of war to be pitied rather than survivors of war to be respected. I really hope The Dressmaker of Khair Khana does its small part to change that.
To read the rest of the interview: http://www.amazon.com/Dressmaker-Khair-Khana-Remarkable-Everything/dp/0061732370/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296786139&sr=8-1
This month’s Marie Claire features an article on women imprisoned in Afghanistan for “moral crimes” – such as refusing to marry their rapist or attempting to leave an abusive husband. They designed a special t-shirt to raise funds for the cause:
“It’s hard to imagine a worse place to be a woman than Afghanistan right now, where girls are thrown in hideous jails for “moral crimes” such as leaving a violent husband.
Karen Day’s piece in Marie Claire February issue — on newsstands everywhere Jan. 18 — so moved us, we designed this “Not Guilty” T-shirt ($25) to raise money to help the women in her story.
The Afghan Women’s Justice Project will send proceeds to non-profit groups that are working to improve imprisoned women’s lives. One shirt purchase buys a child’s milk for a month or school supplies for 10 prisoners.” (from the MC blog, http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/opinion/not-guilty-shirt-for-afghan-women)
To buy the t-shirt or donate to the Afghan Women’s Justice Project: http://www.awjp.org/
Read more: http://bit.ly/gv2ePy
Gayle Lemmon has penned a piece for Politico on “the need to ensure women’s voices are heard in any Taliban reconciliation talks — and why it is in the US’s best interests to do so.”
Afghan women need seat at the table
By: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
October 7, 2010 04:34 AM EDT
As Washington looks for a graceful end to its longest war — today is the ninth anniversary — talk about reconciliation between the Kabul government and the Taliban forces is growing louder in Afghanistan. The Washington Post on Wednesday presented the latest reports about these increasingly serious negotiations.
Yet many women in Afghanistan are uneasy, even fearful, about the prospect of talks in which they have had no voice. During the roughly five years that the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, women lost their rights to work and to gain an education. Though some women managed to learn at underground schools or were able to quietly support their families with home-based businesses, most lived under virtual house arrest, barred from walking alone on the streets or contributing to their families’ income during years of economic collapse.
Read more: http://politi.co/9bgjT3
There are lots of ways to make sure your holiday purchases support women around the world! Here are a few posts featuring some great gift ideas:
The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Gender and Development Club
cordially invites you to a discussion of
Women on the Front Lines: Women’s Role in Conflict Zones
Joanna Block, President, Kiron Global Strategies
Carla Koppell, Director, The Institute for Inclusive Security
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, award-winning author and journalist
Moderated by Allison Asplin, Executive Director, Helping Women Helps the World
Thursday, November 18, 2010
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
SAIS Bernstein Offit Building, Room 500
1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.
To RSVP, please e-mail aasplin1 at jhu dot edu no later than 11/16/2010.