October 10, 2004 |
It began as a slow, cautious trickle, but by midmorning Saturday the line of voters at Zarghona High School had become a great surge of pale blue burkas as hundreds of Afghan women exercised their right to vote for president for the first time. Polls opened at 7 a.m. and by 9, a line of about 300 women was snaking into the large schoolyard, not far from a separate polling station for men, which was also busy.
April 3, 2009 |
Everybody knows about Jay Leno's taste for topical humor. Far fewer are aware that his wife, Mavis, has long been one of Hollywood's most influential behind-the-scenes activists on behalf of women. For more than a decade Mavis Leno has made the plight of Afghan women her particular case and this month she and the organization in which she plays a pivotal role -- the Feminist Majority Foundation -- will hold what amounts to a coming out party for the next round in this cause.
November 23, 1996 |
When Rana, a former junior in English at Kabul University, first reluctantly donned a burka--the emblem of a woman's place in the new Afghan order--her heart sank. "I felt really bad," said the 23-year-old Kabul resident. "Since the day the Taliban came, I have felt that I am a woman, and that I have no choice in my life."
August 23, 2009 |
There are two wars going on in Afghanistan. One is to defeat the Taliban, and that war is not going well. The other is to liberate women, and that war has hardly begun. If the first war is won but the second is lost, Afghanistan will turn into a failed state -- a caldron of violence and misery, home to extremism and totally outside the Western orbit of influence. Last week's election, however imperfect, is welcome, but it means little as long as women remain enslaved in this patriarchal, tradition-bound culture.
January 8, 2002 |
Beneath the sky-blue burka obscuring her budding womanhood, 16-year-old Parwana Yusufi sorts through her hopes and worries. The veiled garment is hated by virtually every woman forced to wear it. First, it is hazardous to movement, vision and breathing. Then there is the dehumanizing effect for the women of recognizing one another only by their worn-out shoes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2000 |
Sajeda and Sehar once toiled in harsh obscurity for the rights of women in their home country of Afghanistan. Soft-spoken, petite and incredibly young-looking, they and their fellow women's rights activists were spat on, beaten and labeled "loose women" in Pakistan by supporters of their country's Taliban government after the Taliban took control of most of Afghanistan in 1996, barring girls from school and women from the workplace. Letters from abroad were encouraging, but rare.
December 17, 2002 |
Women in Afghanistan face a growing wave of human rights abuses in the western city of Herat, where talking to strange men can cause them to be subjected to practices such as chastity examinations, according to a report released Monday. The report by Human Rights Watch said the restrictions imposed on women in the province of Herat under Gov. Ismail Khan, a former militia leader, recall the severe dictates of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime.
May 28, 2002 |
Neither the police nor the local hospital has any record of an unveiled woman being splashed in the face with acid, but the truth of the story is probably unimportant. It is the rumor's terrifying message--that women risk their safety and virtue by abandoning the burka--that has left an indelible mark on the psyche and self-confidence of Afghan women emerging from Taliban repression.
June 27, 2004 |
Badrai was determined that the Taliban loyalists wouldn't stop her from voting. So she stiffened her resolve, walked into the mud-walled room behind the local hospital and asked the woman behind the desk if she could have a registration card. "Yes, I am a little scared, because some people say the Taliban will threaten us," she said. "But God is kind. I think the elections will change our lives."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2002 |
Typing has been a stumbling block for the visitors--five women who hold government jobs in their native Afghanistan. They are spending two weeks at Cal State Northridge to improve their computer and English-language skills and to learn how to write grant proposals to get international aid for their country. Two days into the extended-learning program, which began Monday, all five can send e-mail, with attachments.