Women make up roughly half of the 42 million Pashtun people in the borderland. The kind of hardship they know is rare. Some are bought and sold, others killed for perceived slights against family honor. But this doesn’t render them passive. Most of the Pashtun women I know possess a rebellious and caustic humor beneath their cerulean burkas, which have become symbols of submission. This finds expression in an ancient form of folk poetry called landay. Two lines and 22 syllables long, they can be rather startling to the uninitiated. War, drones, sex, a husband’s manhood—these poems are short and dangerous, like the poisonous snake for which they’re named.
posted by jason's_planet
on Jul 1, 2014 -
"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths
" [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 25, 2013 -
Saving Aesha She came to America after the Taliban hacked off her nose and ears, a symbol of the oppression of women in Afghanistan. Since then, she's been passed around by well-meaning strangers, showcased like a star and shielded like a fragile child. The fairy-tale ending everyone hoped for has remained elusive.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies
on Oct 13, 2012 -
Since the spring of 2010
, all-volunteer units called Female Engagement Teams
have been doing what male soldiers can't: speak with women and children in rural Afghani communities
, both to gain information and to foster trust. These soldiers may carry M4 rifles, but their toolkit includes sidewalk chalk and jump ropes
, too. The FETs, trained for this specific mission grew out of more ad hoc programs like the Lioness program for traffic checkpoints in Iraq
. "The FET mission to me is so critical that if I had to exchange blood for it, I would," said Sgt. 1st Class Sawyer Alberi
, an FET team leader for the National Guard. "The FET mission is nested very closely in the COIN mission, and unless you do it, you're not doing the whole COIN mission." First Lieutenant Quincy Washa, platoon commander for the Female Engagement Team with Regimental Combat Team 1, describes the teams' role
. Despite the apparent importance of the FETs' work, the program is still an experiment; it is unclear whether it will continue after the current teams' deployment
posted by ocherdraco
on Jan 3, 2011 -
"Sixteen-year-old Sabera, with a pretty yellow head scarf, frets that she is missing school. 'I was about to get engaged, and the boy came to ask me himself, before sending his parents. A lady in our neighbourhood saw us, and called the police,' she explains. She was sentenced to three years but, in an act of mercy, it was shortened to 18 months . . ." The BBC reports from an Afghan women's prison. [more inside]
posted by Jaltcoh
on Jun 30, 2010 -
"Far away from the Taliban insurgency,
in this most peaceful corner of Afghanistan, a quiet revolution is gaining pace. Women are driving cars — a rarity in Afghanistan — working in public offices and police stations, and sitting on local councils. There is even a female governor, the first and only one in Afghanistan." Carlotta Gall writes about promising developments in Bamian
. (NY Times
; print version
posted by languagehat
on Oct 7, 2008 -
is a global, on-line community designed to promote professional development of Afghani and Iranian women.
posted by hoder
on Mar 10, 2004 -
"Please, my dear brothers, let your wives and sisters go to the voter registration process," Karzai told a gathering to mark International Women's Day. "Later, you can control who she votes for, but please, let her go."
The liberation of Afghanistan's women continues
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Mar 8, 2004 -
AFGHAN DRAFT CONSTITUTION WORRIES CIVIL-SOCIETY ADVOCATES
Ah, the women. Again. I was unable to come up with some flash item to go with martinis so instead posted this. "The draft constitution of Afghanistan seeks stability in an ethnically diverse country whose infrastructure barely survived 22 years of constant war. It outlines a central government with a strong president and embraces principles of independent media and civil law. However, gaps in the draft worry advocates for women and for religious freedom. " And then there is the huge new opium crop.
posted by Postroad
on Nov 14, 2003 -
"'The best thing is being able to write my name,' says Siddiqa, 18...." Simple and powerful lessons
are being taught in Afghanistan.
posted by donkeyschlong
on Sep 23, 2002 -