Thursday, April 16, 2009

Afghan women march to protest restrictions

Women in Kabal, Afghanistan marched to protest Taliban-like restrictions passed by the Parliament. As reported in the Boston Globe, these restrictictions on women would allow such practices as marital rape -- a woman cannot say "no" to her husband's sexual demands.

This is a nation where most women are uneducated, and where the Taliban burn schools that educate girls and harrass and even harm girls who try to go to school.

These brave women were met by a mob of men yelling "Get out of here, you whores."

The contrast in freedom is so striking. Here in the US as in much of Europe and other nations, women are educated, travel independently, can choose to live alone or with a partner of their choosing(even one of either sex), and work to independely support oneself. In parts of Afghanistan (and now parts of Pakistan, too), women cannot travel unescorted, cannot work to support themselves, and cannot even divorce from their husbands should they be abusive.

Even in the US, there was a time years ago when women were 2nd class citizens, couldn't vote or own land, and were little more than the property of their husbands. But brave women stood up and protested, and won the freedom that women enjoy today.

We should all honor the stuggle of these brave women in Kabul and hope someday their daughters will enjoy the freedoms they fought for.

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