Afghan, French headquarters deployed side by side

ANA BG Emam Nazar, 3rd Infantry Brigade commander, 201st Corps, and French BG Jean-Francois Hogard, TF Lafayette commander, talk about the success of Bison Playoff II Nov. 21-24. (click for more)

ADT visits Paktya women’s center, university, farm

U.S. Army Spc. Mandy Kennedy from Ellsworth, Wis., 2-45th ADT education specialist, hands out items to Afghan girls during a stop at a farm in Gardez Dec. 4. (click for more)

PRT attends shura, helps Afghans in Tandan Village

U.S. Army Pfc. Cheryl Baldridge from Prague, Okla., 2-45 Oklahoma Agribusiness Development Team, examines an Afghan child's donkey at Tandan village Dec. 4. (click for more)

Iowa ADT assesses local farms

An Afghan girl looks up from cutting parsley from a small plot during a foot patrol near FOB Wright by the Iowa National Guard’s 734th ADT Nov. 30. (click for more)

Army medics help boy back on his feet

Pfc. Deana Hilburn talks with Abas at the Aid Station on FOB Fenty. Hilburn and the other medics assigned to the 426th BSB have been treating Abas for severe burns (click for more)

Turning pain into progress: Kunar women’s rights movement gains momentum, support

Some 80 Afghan women gather for the Women’s Justice Shura at the Kunar Ministry of Culture and Information Nov. 30. (click for more)

ADT, PRT, coalition partners meet with leaders in Jaghori District

U.S. Army Sgt. Katherine Williams, Ghazni Texas ADT-IV’s FET, shares a smile with girls living at a local orphanage in the Jaghori District Center while delivering winter supplies. (click for more)

Legal library opens in Salang District Center

U.S. Army Capt. Adam Bushey and U.S. Army Sgt. Erin Pickett, both with TF Wolverine, stock the selves of the newly dedicated law library in the Salang District Center here (click for more)

Kentucky ADT provides training in animal medicine to Afghan students

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Sherry Graham, a 62nd Medical Brigade veterinarian, assisted by Dr. Mohammad Nahim Sharif, a veterinary professor and students from Alberoni University, dissect a sheep Nov. 26. (click for more)

Kentucky ADT attends as 25 women graduate from poultry class

U.S. Army Maj. Bobbie Mayes, Women’s Empowerment coordinator with the Kentucky ADT, greets a teacher from the Agency for Building a New Afghanistan during a visit to the Kapisa Directors (click for more)

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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan women gather for the Women’s Justice Shura at the Kunar Ministry of Culture and Information Nov. 30. The shura was an opportunity for women across Kunar Province to share their issues and experiences with one another. This event, organized by the Kunar Department of Women’s Affairs, brought together more than 80 women, some of whom traveled more than an hour to be present. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Nicholas Mercurio, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – What amount of suffering would a person have to endure to commit suicide by lighting themselves on fire?


This was the question that came to mind as Nasima Shafiq Sadat, Kunar Province Director of Women’s Affairs, recounted the tales of sorrow of Afghanistan’s women to two U.S. servicemembers from the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team’s Female Engagement Team.

“I am a witness to the pain of these women,” Sadat said. “Women who are routinely beaten, forbidden to attend school and given away by their fathers to cover gambling debts. Today is for these women.”

As she spoke, Sadat gestured toward the crowd of more than 80 women who had descended on the Ministry of Culture and Information, some traveling up to one hour over treacherous roads, to attend the Women’s Justice Shura Nov. 30.

It was a day with two purposes, said Dr. Rafiullah Bidar, Jalalabad regional program manager for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. 

“First, we want to achieve awareness, especially about the law protecting women from abuse. Second, we want to discuss better implementation of the law in Kunar.”

The law Bidar was referring to was passed 15 months ago. It contains 20 specifications of prohibited behavior toward women, from obvious physical abuse to more nuanced, culturally specific prohibitions banning forced marriages and making it illegal for parents to keep their daughters from attending school.

“I am happy to be here and support the fight for women’s rights,” said Gov. Fazlullah Wahidi, Kunar provincial governor. “We have a law, and it should be enforced. The women here are fighting so hard for what they believe in.” 

In a country beset by war, this fight does not call for bombs or bullets, it requires understanding.

“Men and women in Islam are the same, they are equal under Allah,” said Imam Naquibullah Mohsin, as he spoke of the ways in which women’s rights are in harmony with Islam, a difficult task in fiercely traditional Kunar Province. “Peace will never come to Afghanistan until the violence toward women ceases. The violence is a result of not being educated ... if you do not educate yourself, how can you pray to Allah and ask for forgiveness?”

The women gathered saw progress made that very day as Wahidi called for a female district subgovernor in Kunar Province, a notion inconceivable a few months ago.

“I am excited by the attendance I see here today. Kunar has a strong women’s rights movement and we, the PRT, are proud to support you,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brian Goss of Annapolis, Md., Kunar PRT commander. “Women, wives, sisters, mothers and daughters are the center of any world and we are all better because of you.”

For a day born out of sadness, it ended in hope; hope for justice and for a brighter future for all Afghans. 
 

 

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan women await the beginning of the Women’s Justice Shura Nov. 30 at the Kunar Ministry of Culture and Information. During the shura, presentations were made by Nasima Shafiq Sadat, the Kunar Province Director of Women’s Affairs; Dr. Rafiullah Bidar, Jalalabad regional program manager for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; and Fazlullah Wahidi, Kunar Province governor. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Nicholas Mercurio, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan woman listens intently to a speech during the Women’s Justice Shura Nov. 30 at the Kunar Province Ministry of Culture and Information. Organized by the Kunar Province Department of Women’s Affairs, the shura brought together more than 80 women from across the province to discuss their collective issues and provide education on the 15-month-old legislation which bans violent and oppressive treatment of women. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Nicholas Mercurio, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 December 2010 11:26
 

    

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