11 May 2010

Is The Obama Administration Abandoning Afghan Women?

Foreign Policy: Betrayed
They said we were there to save Afghanistan’s women. So how come we haven’t?

The Americans strong-armed a handful of women into the loya jirga that then drafted the Afghan Constitution. They strong-armed a quota for women in the Afghan national legislature -- something that even American women are not treated to.

U.S. troops built schools for girls and pushed for women to be included in the local shuras, and USAID ripped a page from Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea and facilitated new training and educational opportunities for women.

But the current administration, despite its female secretary of State and its new Office of Global Women's Issues, appears to be ditching the women of Afghanistan like a blind date gone bad. You have to go back 10 months to find any sustained rhetoric from President Barack Obama about the importance of assuring the security of women in Afghanistan.

Since then, and especially since last year's Afghan election, those fine words from a sitting president have all but disappeared. Many of the fine actions are gone, too. Push local shuras into including women in 2002? Yes. Push local shuras into including women in 2010? Forget it.

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