Have Afghan women made "progress" under NATO?
Amnesty International ran ads and sent a letter signed by Madeline Albright supporting the absurd claim signed by the heads of state at the NATO summit in Chicago: “In the ten years of our partnership the lives of Afghan men, women and children, have improved significantly in terms of security, education, health care, economic opportunity and the assurance of rights and freedoms. There is more to be done, but we are resolved to work together to preserve the substantial progress we have made during the past decade.”
Recent facts to the contrary include:
- In country organizations that work for women's empowerment disagree. From RAWA: There has been no improvement in lives of this the most miserable and ill-fated portion of Afghan society since the establishment of transitional government...
- Today, Afghans have an average life expectancy of 48 years. According to UNICEF, 68% of children under five suffer from either stunting or wasting due to malnutrition.
- For a detailed examination of claims that maternal mortality has improved, see this article by researcher Tim Anderson published on Stop the War Coalition Sydney's website.
- (While Secretary of State Clinton joins Laura Bush in agreeing with NATO.)
Amnesty International ad during NATO summit in Chicago, May 2012
The United Nations has said that "Inclusion of protections for women and girls" is central to transition security sector framework for Afghanistan -- which is a completely different matter than claiming their health or that of their children has improved!
Concerned activists will hold a one hour conference call to discuss: Have Afghan women made "progress" under NATO? Thursday, June 27 at 8pm EST. Conference Dial-in Number: (949) 812-4500 Participant Access Code: 583293#
The purpose of the call will be to sort through what we know about the effects of military occupation on women's quality of life, and how we might shape this part of the narrative as the war "ends" and there is more media attention paid to Afghanistan.
Lisa Savage | #CODEPINK
Went 2 the Bridge blog