Saturday, November 22, 2008

Back in the real world

A depressing report from Afghanistan about the continuing erosion of women's rights as the Taliban become more powerful in the vacuum of the worsening security situation. The Afghan MP Shukria Barakzai receives death threats but says "there is no choice. I would rather die for the dignity of women than die for nothing. Should I stop my work because there is a chance I might be killed? I must go on, and if it happens it happens".

The author of the gung-ho website Come Back Alive has a different perspective: he says "Somehow in [international, usually female, journalists'] zeal to create women's rights in a country staggering to its knees, they forget to mention the complete lack of jobs, housing, medical care, health services and education for men". I'm not sure I buy the argument, though; what justification is there for acid attacks on schoolgirls?


nmj said...

Hey Lottie, Yes, men having a crap time in Afghanistan somehow doesn't cancel out women having an even more crap time...

Grande Poobah said...

hello (apologies in advance for post quality - this is written in the haze of jetlag so there's no accounting for where it might ramble to - see what I mean already??)

Is it just me or.....are these issues not serial but parallel? And women's rights (oh, you know, not to have acid thrown at them, to be educated, not to be chattals of men) benefit all society by instilling basic concepts such as respect, equality, fairness, rule of law etc etc... rather than having men's (somewhat) justifiable rage at their circumstances externalised and then projected onto society's weakest members.

Or something. Maybe it's time to try a nap again.

LottieP said...

Hello, nmj; nice to see you here. Thanks for commenting, GP; even in jetlagged state, still making sense!

And quite. Where a politician receives death threats and human beings are treated as slaves, or attacked just for running a business or for going to school, that is objectively reprehensible. What angers me about the arrogant character who writes Come Back Alive (just check out his picture here: "the man, the adventurer, the writer": Deliverance, anyone?) is that he seems to think that because the "gender journalists" he despises are campaiging on an issue, it automatically becomes less worthwhile.

Read his site: it's an eye-opener. The advice clearly isn't aimed at women, but luckily (for me) I have no plans to go to Afghanistan any time soon.