Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Taliban Wives Seek Divorce

Since the Taliban’s fall last November, Afghan women have flooded Kabul’s 16 district courts seeking divorces, according to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). As many as 50 women a day Ñ most forced into marriage with Taliban men Ñsubmit divorce requests despite facing possible detainment, according to Mohammad Usman, chair […]

Afghanistan

UN Halts Return of Refugees to Afghanistan

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has suspended the return of refugees to Afghanistan’s central and northern regions because of deteriorating security as a result of rival warlords. The Feminist Majority, UN, other humanitarian aid organizations and the new Afghan government have issued repeated pleas to the US government to support expansion of […]

Afghanistan

Momentum Building for Expansion of Peacekeeping Troops in Afghanistan

With both Democratic and Republican Senate leaders calling upon the Bush administration to support expansion of peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan, the Feminist Majority has stepped up an emergency call-in and e-mail campaign to provide the security necessary to promote women’s rights, democracy and reconstruction. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing yesterday, both Democratic and […]

Afghanistan

Women’s Affairs Minister Appointed in Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai officially appointed Habiba Sorabi as minister for women’s affairs today, replacing Dr. Sima Samar who will head the country’s human rights commission. Sorabi is a pharmacist and women’s rights activist, who returned to Afghanistan after she fled to Pakistan following the Taliban takeover. Sorabi is the third woman to be appointed […]

Afghanistan

Senate Committee to Address Expansion of Peacekeeping Troops in Afghanistan

In the wake of violence and intimidation against human rights advocates in Afghanistan, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing at 10:45 a.m. tomorrow to address the issue of expansion of peace troops in Afghanistan. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz will testify and respond to […]

Afghanistan

More Peacekeeping Forces Desperately Needed in Afghanistan

Conditions in Afghanistan are described by international aid workers as dangerous and unstable. Delegates returning home from last week’s loya jirga have reported threats and intimidation especially to women. In light of these circumstances, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) restated a continued plea last night to the Bush administration and Congress for expanded US peacekeeping presence […]

Afghanistan

Recent Spate of Violence Could Push Aid Organizations out of Afghanistan

Reports of violence in northern Afghanistan, including the gang rape of a female international aid worker, have raised further concerns about security in the war-torn nation with several international groups threatening to leave the country. “Many aid workers, noting the climate of fear and insecurity in the region, are considering reducing or discontinuing there work […]

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Karzai Elected as Next Head of State

In secret ballot elections held late Thursday, Afghanistan’s national assemblyÑthe loya jirgaÑselected current interim leader Hamid Karzai as the next head of state, serving until the 2004 elections. Karzai emerged with 1,295 of the more than 1,500 votes cast. Female physician Massouda Jalal finished as runner-up with 171 votes, despite efforts by Defense Minister Marshal […]

Afghanistan

Lack of Funding Forces UN Food Agency to Suspend Some Relief in Afghanistan

A multi-million dollar funding gap for the United Nations World Food Program’s work in Afghanistan has resulted in cutbacks on relief projects throughout the country. These cutbacks have forced families to take on debt, reduce their dietary intake and sell their assets and livestock, according to Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for […]

Afghanistan

Afghanistan Experiencing “Immediate Humanitarian Crisis”

United Nations Envoy for Recovery, Relief, and Reconstruction Nigel Fisher revealed that the international community has provided “insufficient” aid to Afghanistan and noted that the country is still undergoing an “immediate humanitarian crisis,” evidenced by widespread hunger. According to the World Food Program (WFP), the agency needs more than $585 million to deliver aid to […]

Afghanistan

Hunger Exacerbates Conditions in Afghanistan

In a preliminary draft report commissioned by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Tufts University famine expert Sue Lautze characterized the situation in Afghanistan Ð exacerbated by a three-year drought Ð as “still in acute disaster phase” and urged continued diligence in international emergency assistance. Based on 1,100 interviews with Afghan households, Lautz’s report […]

Afghanistan

Senators, Women Leaders Call for Increased Security, Funding for Afghanistan

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) joined Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, NOW President Kim Gandy, National Council of Women’s Organizations Executive Director Martha Burk, Equality Now President Jessica Neuwirth, V-Day Founder Eve Ensler, Gloria Steinem, and Zieba Shorish-Shamley of the Women’s Alliance for Peace and Human Rights in Afghanistan in calling on […]

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Lack of Security Threatens WomenÕs Rights, Lives

UNIFEM Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer this week identified lack of security as the major threat to women in Afghanistan. Factional fighting and only a limited International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) could prevent economic development, the successful establishment of democracy, and the return of women’s rights. Heyzer urged the international community to increase efforts to restore […]

Afghanistan

Bush Calls for “Marshall Plan” for Afghanistan Despite Lack of Peace Troops, Aid

Speaking yesterday at the Virginia Military Institute, President Bush called for the establishment of a “Marshall Plan,” like the one put into place for Europe and Japan after World War II, for Afghanistan to help ensure “true peace” in the war-torn country. Bush told cadets, “Peace will be achieved by helping Afghanistan develop its own […]

Afghanistan

Anti-Women’s Rights Pamphlets in Afghanistan Threaten Reprisals

Anti-women’s rights, handwritten pamphlets have been found in Kandahar, a former Taliban stronghold. According to a traveler quoted by Reuters, the pamphlets read, “Stop sending your women to offices and daughters to schools. It spreads indecency and vulgarity.” The pamphlet then issues the warning, “Stand ready for the consequences if you do not heed the […]

Afghanistan

UN, Afghanistan Make Plea for International Aid to Help Ensure National Security

Afghan Interim Prime Minister Hamid Karzai and United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi called on the international community yesterday to release aid money pledged for Afghanistan’s reconstruction in January in order to fund a national security force in the country. “[T]he establishment of a well-trained, properly equipped national security force is an absolute […]

Afghanistan

FM President Leads Call for Expansion of Peace Troops in Afghanistan

Delivering the keynote address at the National Council of Women’s Organizations’ Women’s Equality Summit and Action Day, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal called for a national women’s campaign in support of peace troop expansion and more U.S. resources for Afghanistan’s reconstruction. “Peace and security must be established across Afghanistan to enable the restoration of women’s […]