Thursday, June 21, 2007
One of the major accomplishments of the invasion of Afghanistan was the impact it had on Afghan women. At least, that's what was supposed to happen. Of course, changing a culture isn't that easy, so it's no surprise that the results have left a lot to be desired. But keeping Afghanistan a priority might have made a difference.
IRIN, an independent news outlet for the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs, has produced a short film (about 20 minutes) illustrating some of the hardships Afghan women still face, including high rates of maternal mortality during childbirth, lack of education, and high rates of domestic violence and abuse. (WMP or RealPlayer. Or else here's the transcript.)
We didn't create these problems. But we did suggest that we'd stick around long enough to help solve them. We let more than just Osama Bin Laden get away in Afghanistan. We also lost an opportunity to demonstrate that we were willing and able to help people rebuild.