Women and girls hardest hit in Afghanistan
For Afghan girls and women who must remain in Afghanistan, it doesn't matter what the USA does now. What the USA did is the issue.
Many voices are sounding off on this reality, but their words do not matter much to everyday women in Afghanistan. It is all sound and fury now.
Had the government of Ashraf Ghani and the army of Afghanistan stayed in place and continued to operate and govern after the U.S. military pulled out, Afghan women and girls might have had a chance, might have had futures, even if fighting with the Taliban continued. Now their prospects and even their lives are over. Oh, sure, many will live on, but their lives will be torturous.
It seems President Biden just waved his hand and said get our troops out of Afghanistan now. Did he understand what would happen to girls and women in Afghanistan with that directive? When he chose to "go to zero" suddenly, pulling our military out completely, did he even consider Afghan girls and women? Doubt it.
Why? Aren't the Democrats always hyper-focused on the plight of women? Did Biden have room in his heart only for American women?
It doesn't matter now. The consequences of the poor planning and careless actions of the Biden administration have been devastating to Afghan women and girls. Even now there are reports of young girls being forced to "marry" Taliban fighters, of a woman who was burned for fixing food that was displeasing to the Taliban, and of multiple women being beaten and killed by the Taliban. CBN reports that one young girl watched the Taliban cut off the arms of her father and slaughter her family before she was handed over to their leadership.
Sadly, we saw similar consequences in Iraq when President Barack Obama pulled U.S. troops out of there. Girls and women were victimized horribly by ISIS as those thugs filled the void in that country. No Democrat seemed to care about what was happening. Did Democrats ever express regret about it or sorrow after it? Don't think so.
Republicans did, and Trump did, and he acted. He expressed sorrow over American Kayla Mueller, who was victimized and killed by ISIS, and then he killed their leader. Trump destroyed ISIS in Iraq, and the families of the ISIS victims lauded Trump.
Currently, the Independent Women's Forum, a national women's organization and nonprofit, has criticized the decision and the actions of President Joe Biden. In an August 19, 2021 article, Carrie Sheffield writes, "President Biden's failure to prevent the catastrophic, lightning-speed collapse of Afghanistan into Taliban control now imperils the lives and freedoms of more than 18 million Afghan women and girls. ... For Afghan women their prospects now range from bleak to horrendous."
An opinion piece by Andrea Boltner, also of the Independent Women's Forum (August 23, 2021), expresses disappointment that the Biden-Harris administration broke its commitment to Afghan women and damaged U.S. credibility as a leader in women's rights.
Prominent feminist groups were strangely silent just after Biden pulled our troops, and then they wrote a letter to the Biden-Harris administration on August 18, which urged the leaders not to abandon Afghan women and girls. One hundred feminist leaders and advocates signed the letter.
It reads, "Dear President Biden and Vice President Harris, We are heartbroken by the devastating news coming out of Afghanistan about Taliban's advances and are writing to you with our plea for your administration to take actions to protect Afghan women and girls and to address this unfolding human rights and humanitarian catastrophe."
The letter also urged the administration not to agree to a deal that will recognize and support a Taliban regime, and it begged the administration to take action to save women's rights and human rights leaders and advocates and to evacuate them to the United States. (Well and good, but what happens to all the other women, and now without their leaders?)
Before Biden's withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, some of the same voices criticized the presence of the USA in Afghanistan as being a negative for women and girls there. The Nation published an article that decried the problems for women brought by war and seemed to yearn for a paradigm shift in foreign policy. Reminder to be careful about our wishes?
Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel laureate and Pakistani who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2014 for advocating for education for girls, is urging countries to open their borders to Afghan refugees. She said, "I think every country has a role and responsibility right now."
She knows firsthand about the Taliban, and we must take her advice. Unfortunately, doing what she advises will not help most Afghan women and girls anymore.
C.S. Boddie writes for Meadowlark Press, LLC.
Image via Pixnio.
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