Women In War And Conflict
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The trauma and their options in War and Conflict torn areas
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Taliban talks terrify Afghan women

Taliban talks terrify Afghan women | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it
Women in Afghanistan are worried that the freedoms they have won since U.S. forces toppled the brutal Taliban regime 10 years ago will be squandered if the Islamic hard-liners return to power through a U.S.-led peace process.

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Doe: The women of Afghanistan have been screaming at the top of their voices but who hears them? Obama ? No. Obama does not understan that this is not the Korean War or the Vietnammes offensive. It is Much much bigger than Vietnam and Korea Combined.

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A real war on women is brewing in Afghanistan.

Women there are worried that the freedoms they have won since U.S. forces toppled the brutal Taliban regime 10 years ago will be squandered if the Islamic hard-liners return to power through a U.S.-led peace process.

 

“Dark days are in Afghanistan’s future,” said Manizha Naderi, who heads the civil rights group Women for Afghan Women.

U.S. and Afghan officials and the Taliban have been engaged for several months in an effort to initiate peace talks that could lead to the militants playing a role in government.

 

“If there are negotiations with the Taliban, women’s rights will be the first to go, and women will be forced to stay at home all over again,” Ms. Naderi said in a phone interview from Kabul.

 

Afghan women bore the brunt of the Taliban’s strict enforcement of Islamic law until U.S. forces overthrew the regime for sheltering al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

 

The Taliban regrouped as a militant force and claimed credit this week for coordinated suicide bombings in Kabul and other cities.

 

Under the Taliban regime, girls were banned from going to school and women’s educational institutions were closed. Many women were forced to quit their jobs and required to wear burqas.

 

Taliban fighters perpetrated egregious acts of violence against women, including rape, abduction and forced marriage, according to a 2001 report by the State Department.

 

Unmarried women who were caught with unrelated men were whipped in stadiums full of people. Married women in similar circumstances were stoned to death.

 

Now schools across Afghanistan brim with girls. Access to health care has reduced the female mortality rate. Women play a role in politics and public life, and the Afghan Constitution criminalizes violence against women.

 

Dangers remain

 

The Taliban still routinely threaten women who have taken on public roles in society. In some instances, female politicians and social workers have been killed.

 

In an attack Tuesday that officials blamed on extremists opposed to female education, about 140 Afghan girls and teachers were poisoned by contaminated drinking water at a high school in the northern Takhar province. Some remained in critical condition at a hospital, while others were treated and released.

 

“We all are afraid of the Taliban coming back in any shape, whether in power in government or as an independent political party,” said Nilofar Sakhi, chairwoman of Women’s Activities and Social Services Association, based in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat.

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Afghan women march for justice

Afghan women march for justice | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it
Young Women for Change (YWC) activists took to the streets to denounce violence against women in Afghanistan.

 

 

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Syrian Nun Plays Key Role in Medical Underground

Syrian Nun Plays Key Role in Medical Underground | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it

An activist doctor in Syria has a hero he calls "Sister Nanique." The Catholic nun stockpiles medical supplies to help treat those wounded in the resistance. Here he tells the story of her recent dangerous mission to Homs.

 

He calls her "Sister Nanique" and her name, like his, is changed to protect their safety.

 

Fadi, an activist doctor, says Sister Nanique has a stash of clean syringes, tetanus injections, surgical tools, serums, bags for collecting blood donations and lots of other medical supplies that have become almost impossible to obtain since the eruption of the Syrian revolution.

 

She stores them in a small room next to her monastery cell, a place that some in the nation's underground network of doctors call the "sister's pharmacy." These doctors consider that room a key supply source for their work in such devastated places as the city of Homs. A United Nations committee arrived Monday in Syria to monitor a U.N.-brokered ceasefire that some opposition activists said had broken down

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Shocking Facts About Who’s Arming Human Rights Abusers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Shocking Facts About Who’s Arming Human Rights Abusers [INFOGRAPHIC] | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it
Just six countries export a whopping 74 percent of the world's weapons. Our infographic breaks down the facts.

 

Treaties regulate the global trade of many products – even bananas and dinosaur bones – but not guns and bullets. We need a strong Arms Trade Treaty that will stop tools of death from getting into the hands of people like Syria’s Assad and Sudan’s Bashir who continue to brutalize their people.

 

Nasrullah Khan Niazi Says:
April 12th, 2012 at 1:08 pm
and who is buying largest quantity of weapons, World largest buyers of weapons is India, who used most of his weapons in occupied Kashmir, Kashmir is occupied territory by Indian forces, where people are fighting for their freedom against Indian army, during the last 10 years more than 100000 civilians have been killed by forces to suppress the aggression against govt, while every time they blame Pakistan for this aggression, but fact is that majority of local married women are called half widows because these half widows do not know where their husbands are, as either they are Indian Army torture cells or have been killed, recently human right organizations founds mass graves, until now 5000 bodies have been recovered, all these bodies were locals, but killed by Indian army as claiming to be Pakistanis. but every time people of Kashmir ask Indian army that if u are killing Pakistani people than where are our husbands,, more than 800000regular army along with Police and border security forces is there to control a area which smaller than whole UK,

 

Somone Says:
April 12th, 2012 at 1:26 pm
This report is trying to be unbiased but it is mixing poison with honey. I think the main aim of this report is to blame Russia for the bloodshed in Syria. Yes, maybe all government weapons are from Russia but what about the weapons in the hands of the terrorists groups and AlQaeda, it’s all American coming through the Arab countries who all buy their weapons from USA. Basically, Syria is the only Arab country who is not owned by USA but an ally of Russia and hence its revolution became a territorial war and this report comes to Show AlAssad and Russia as the bad guys while in percentage comparison what the USA is doing in Bahrain is far worse to help Bahrain king dictator and keep its 5th fleet ready for Iran. If you want the report to be credible show the actual size of USA domination and weapon sales around the world and civil wars it is causing.

 

 

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Is the fate of Hillary Clinton’s legacy tied to that of Afghan women?

Is the fate of Hillary Clinton’s legacy tied to that of Afghan women? | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it

in the picture:U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a press availability at the conclusion of the G8 Ministerial April 12, 2012 at the Blair House in Washington, DC.

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Doe says: Is it not amasing that American Polititians are linking their future to a suffering they have not seen or interacted with ?

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As many as 150 schoolgirls in Afghanistan were sickened by poisoning at their high school yesterday, Reuters reports. The attack is being blamed on radicals opposed to women's rights and education. It's a stark reminder that after more than a decade long hearts-and-minds campaign, human rights is not a welcome ideal by all.

 

At the center of that campaign stands Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She made women's rights there a priority even before 2001 and long before she could wield power as head of the U.S. State Department. But with the American troop withdrawal hastening toward her, any gains for the women of Afghanistan are threatened severely.

 

Just last month, a leading group of clerics issued an edict that's been described as a "greenlight for Talibanization," according to The Guardian. It said women are subordinate to men, should not mingle with them in the workplace or schools, and cannot travel without a male chaperone. Afghani President Hamid Karzai's office detailed the edict in a statement without comment. Critics of Karzai call that tacit approval. Still, Afghanistan and its leadership want a continuing partnership – and money – from the United States.

 

A formal pact is expected to be signed between the two countries at a NATO conference in Chicago next month. Will women leaders have a seat at the table there? Speaking to the U.S.-Afghan women's Council in Washington this month, Clinton said, "Any peace that is attempted to be made by excluding more than half the population is no peace at all."

 

Can U.S. aid be tied to progress for women? How would that progress be measured? More than two million girls and women are in Afghanistan schools – is there enough public will in the country to keep them there? Will Clinton's legacy be damaged otherwise?

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A Precarious Crossroads for Afghan Women

A Precarious Crossroads for Afghan Women | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it
In some ways the pace of change on women's issues has gone into reverse.

 

The once remarkable gains in protecting and promoting equality between women and men in Afghanistan are now facing their most serious challenges.

 

Two questions must be asked: Are the emerging challenges to women’s rights an indication of an overall backslide in security and stability in Afghanistan? Is this evidence of women’s rights being negotiated away as part of the peace and reconciliation process?

 

The struggle of Afghan women is not one that can be separated from the overall struggle of the Afghan nation to achieve peace and stability. The situation of women and girls — their progress, their opportunities and their access to real justice — must be one of the primary indicators to measure the direction and success of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

 

A decade ago, as the global debate on Afghanistan’s future raged, it was the plight of Afghan women that captured the world’s attention. The persecution of women and girls was stark: from restricted mobility and highly limited access to education; to needing male guardians to go out in public; to the rampant policing and persecution of “moral crimes” committed by women; to the exchanging of women and girls between families to settle disputes.

 

Afghan women have fought for over 10 years to ensure that their sisters, daughters and families never again face such a future. Yet in 2012, as the world redefines its role in Afghanistan, policy makers and peace negotiators need to look to the situation of women and girls as a barometer of how inclusive, democratic, secure and stable Afghanistan is today.

 

Important gains have been made, namely a Constitution that enshrines equality between women and men, a Parliament in which women hold 28 percent of the seats, the implementation of the country’s first law on ending violence against women, and the establishment of shelters and services for women and girls recovering from violence. In addition, girls are back in school — constituting 2.4 million of the more than 7 million children in primary and secondary education. Further, the Women’s Affairs Ministry and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission have been strengthened.

 

That Afghanistan has taken so many steps in so short a time is highly notable — and a sign of hope for a stable, just and democratic country. But as the peace and reconciliation process evolves, as the International Security Assistance Force draws down, and as more and more parties are encouraged to come to the negotiating table, Afghan women are seeing that the pace of change as regards women’s issues has not only slowed down but in some ways has gone into reverse.

 

Early-warning indicators are there, but not yet being heard. Violence against women and girls — in the form of physical and emotional abuse, and forced marriages — remains at almost pandemic levels. Impunity of the perpetrators of violence is almost absolute. Women who run away from forced marriages continue to be jailed. Women are often pressured to withdraw complaints and opt for mediation by elders even in cases of serious crimes of violence, leaving them without any protection or justice. Religious leaders recently released a statement justifying certain types of domestic violence, proposing limitations on women’s education and employment opportunities, and calling for the wearing of the hijab.

 

The single most important recourse we have to mitigate these risks is to ensure that women are engaged, that their voices heard and their perspectives taken into account in the peace and reconciliation process. Women struggled to be heard at the international conference on Afghanistan in December in Bonn, and they try to be heard in the discussions of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council. They will strive to make their mark at the NATO summit meeting on security next month in Chicago as well as at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July.

 

Afghan women are now better positioned to articulate their rights. They have important roles on the High Peace Council and in Parliament. They see firsthand the need to monitor the peace and reconciliation process and recognize the importance of engaging with the families of insurgents. They also know that the international community must not forget its commitment to Afghan women and girls beyond 2014.

 

The government of Afghanistan and the international community must listen to Afghan women — and not allow their gains to be given up in any peace process. Given the strength and importance of religious leaders throughout Afghanistan, it is crucial that their support is solicited to ensure that the women’s rights enshrined in the Constitution are not lost.

 

Policy makers in Afghanistan and in capitals around the world must see that the worsening situation for women has come with a worsening political and security environment. Women have suffered immeasurably during the last 35 years of war — and it is unacceptable that they should now pay the highest price for any peace deal. Women cannot accept peace at any price, nor should the international community.

 

We must stop relegating women’s issues to a side agenda at international forums on Afghanistan. The summit meetings in Chicago and Tokyo need to make space for women. If Afghan women continue to be ignored within the major political decision-making processes affecting their country, the vision of a more secure, prosperous and stable Afghanistan cannot be realized.

 

Michelle Bachelet, president of Chile from 2006 to 2010, is executive director of U.N. Women, which advocates gender equality and empowerment of women.

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100 girl students apparently poisoned in Takhar | Pajhwok Afghan News

100 girl students apparently poisoned in Takhar | Pajhwok Afghan News | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it
TALOQAN (PAN): More than 100 girl students were hospitalised, apparently poisoned, after drinking water at their school in northern Takhar province, officials said on Tuesday.

 

The incident took place in the afternoon at a girl’s school in the Rostaq district, Mustafa Rassouli, the governor’s office acting spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

 

The sick students were rushed to the provincial civil hospital and a health clinic in the district.

 

District chief Mohammad Hussain, confirming the incident, said it remained unknown that what had been mixed in the water, but an investigation was ongoing.

 

The affected students were aged between 10 and 18 years old.

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Punishing “Moral Crimes” in Afghanistan

Punishing “Moral Crimes” in Afghanistan | Women In War And Conflict | Scoop.it
Afghanistan should release the 400 women in prison for moral crimes and prosecute those perpetrating violence against women and girls...

 

Despite enormous improvements to women’s livelihoods in the decade since the fall of the Taliban, much action is needed by the Afghan government and the international community.

 

For example, women in Afghanistan face some of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, more than half of all girls in the country do not attend school, and many women are forced into marriage shortly after puberty.

 

To make matter worse, women can face the prospect of being jailed for reporting violence perpetrated against them as reported in Human Rights Watch’s new report, detailing the detention of 400 women and girls imprisoned in the country for “moral crimes”.

 

These “moral crimes” are not crimes at all but is discrimination by the police, the judiciary and government officials against women trying to report abusive relationships. As the report notes:

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