Taliban Resurgence Restricting Women’s Freedoms In Afghanistan

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"Taliban Resurgence Restricting Women’s Freedoms In Afghanistan"

Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, President Bush has repeatedly stated that women’s rights are flourishing in that country:

“Three years ago, the smallest displays of joy were outlawed. Women were beaten for wearing brightly-colored shoes. … Today, we witness the rebirth of a vibrant Afghan culture.” [6/15/04]

“In January, Afghans approved a new constitution that protects the right of all Afghan citizens, including women.” [5/18/04]

But CBS News correspondent Lara Logan’s Sept. 5 broadcast from the Ghazni province cast a different picture. Two years ago, the U.S. military took Logan to the area to highlight its success. She was free to wear Western clothing. In her most recent broadcast, Logan noted that Ghazni is now controlled by the Taliban and when visiting, she was forced to “cover everything but my eyes.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/09/loganafghan1.320.240.flv]

A recent study by the U.N. Development Fund for Women found that while women have had some gains since the fall of the Taliban, acts of domestic violence against women are still “happening with impunity” and women “are often still regarded as second-class citizens.”

Full transcript below:

Our tense journey into Taliban territory followed six months of negotiations with their commanders. Their nervous liaison insisted I cover everything but my eyes.

[snip]

Finally arriving to this — more than 100 Taliban fighters — America’s enemy — brazenly flaunting their weapons in broad daylight.

Men of all ages, many trained over the border inside Pakistan, out of reach of U.S. forces, where the Taliban has been able to reorganize and rearm.

Their senior commander defiantly declared them stronger and more popular than they were before the U.S. invasion. That’s a far cry from what I found last time I came to Ghazni.

The U.S. military brought me here more than two years ago to show off how they’d driven the Taliban out. Now the Taliban were showing off their success in taking back some of that ground.

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