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May 03 2013

Poisoning the Well

I wrote about the barely legal and often hidden women’s shelters in Afghanistan and how members of the USA’s political machine called women’s rights in Afghanistan a “Pet Rock that was weighing down the backpack”. A lot of the stories that come out of Afghanistan prove that we can do some good there.

150 girls in Kabul fell sick after a poison attack either via gas or drinking water. Ordinarily we would dismiss such an attack as hysteria but mass poisonings of school girls by the Taliban are not new. While they don’t happen with regularity, they have been noticed and the mentality of such attacks is the same as the attacks on Malala.

Hospital officials said the girls appeared to become ill after smelling some kind of gas and drinking water at the Sultan Razia school in Kabul.

Since the 2001 ousting of the Taliban, which banned education for women and girls, females have returned to schools, especially in Kabul. There has been a slow and consistent improvement of women’s rights throughout Afghanistan’s non-Taliban held regions. But attacks on students, teachers and schools still continue.

There is a general fear that the achievements in education, voting and employment are temporary as the Afghan government seeks peace talks with the Taliban. That women will lose their rights to a society where the only reason they have those rights is the presence of the eyes of the west and a curtailing of a sexist culture and religion. The reintroduction of the Taliban will probably result in all these advances being reversed.

Pet rocks indeed.

Avicenna is blogging for the SSA over over the Saturday/Sunday. He is trying to reach the goal of $500 of your shiny American Dollars. Help him do so by donating here.

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