Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, April 03, 2006

Afghan School Girls’ Safety in Jeopardy

March 24, 2006

Kabul – Around half of all Afghan girls are not attending primary school because of the recent Taliban attacks on schools throughout the country, Reuters reported. When the Taliban ruled, girls banned from attending school studied in secret locations. Now some think they may have to resort to this secretive method again.

"The most important thing now is to have all children in school, that's very important for the development of the country," Rima Salah, deputy executive director of the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), told Reuters.

There have been 30 serious attacks on schools in the past six months that have resulted in the death of six people, including five staff and one student. USAID fears the closure of an estimated 200 schools in southern Afghanistan.

UNICEF suggests creating small community schools to protect female students.

Click here for the full story.

Afghanistan’s Female Warlord

March 16, 2006

Bibi Ayesha, known to Afghanistan as “The Pigeon,” has fought the Russians, the Taliban, and other local rivals. As a warlord, she is a rarity in a country that is far from achieving gender equality. BBC News featured Ayesha’s story in a recent report. The Afghan government and its international backers, such as the U.N., are requiring Ayesha to hand over her weapons.

According to the report:

“While the neon lights, internet cafes and mobile phone shops in Kabul point to a rush towards modernity in Afghanistan's cities, in remote rural Afghanistan the old feudal order persists; an often violent culture of blood feud and local justice where the reach of central government is weak or non-existent.”

"I am still wishing for a fight," she told BBC News, dismissing any notion that women's roles in Afghan society would preclude front-line battle service, "It makes no difference if you are a man or a woman when you have the heart of a fighter."

She claims to have 150 men under her command, and has weapons for about 50. Though the UN Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups program (DIAG) plans to disarm her soon, she will most likely resist.

Click here for BBC News full story.


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