At this weekend’s Women in the World Summit, Bibi Hokmina, an elected member of the Provincial Council in Afghanistan talked about the integral role the U.S. still plays in her country. Through a translator, the female official made the following plea:
The U.S. needs to take the Taliban and take Afghanistan and not abandon it. We need to sit down and have a meeting of the minds because for 30 years this country has been entrenched in war and bloodshed and we can’t take anymore. We can make the country a better place than what it is today. The U.S. has the power and resources to do this and this isn’t the right time to abandon Afghanistan.
Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, a grassroots organisation which helps women survivors of war, went on to explain that it’s not simply the troops that Afganistan needs but the development and infrastructure that the U.S. can provide.
The U.S. currently has about 90,000 troops in Afghanistan and military officials envision that 20,000 troops will remain after the final drawdown in 2014 to hunt terrorists and keep an eye on Iran, according to AP.
The withdrawal of the U.S. and the threat of the Taliban’s return to power presents a dire situation for women. Christiane Amanpour reminded us that Afghanistan remains the most dangerous country in the world for women. Official Hokmina fears that a return of Taliban power would mean that women would be, “sequestered and enslaved back into homes.”
Salbi recently spoke with one of Karzai’s advisors about the administration’s talks with the Taliban. He said, women will have to pay a price, but it’s just “mobility and their appearance.” He told her, “You never wore a burkha yourself before, so how do you know it’s a big deal?”
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