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In few countries do women face as many challenges as they do in Afghanistan—a country which not only holds the record for the worst place to be a mother, according to Save the Children's “State of the World's Mothers Report 2010,” but is also home to the fundamentalist Taliban, one of the world's most repressive anti-women's rights regimes.
"I had so many dreams for my life, but when I saw him, they just disappeared." Saraya spoke softly, her hunched-over body and nervously twisting hands testimony to all she says she has had to endure.
"I told my father I didn't want to marry him: 'why are you doing this to me?'" She continued: "My father said 'you are of an age to be married and this is my decision, not yours.'"
If an American television network were going to be in cahoots with the Nobel committee, it makes sense that it would be PBS. How else to explain the premiere of the mini-series “Women, War & Peace” on Tuesday, just days after one of its major figures, the Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011?
The number of women running for seats in the Afghan parliamentary elections has increased though cultural obstacles remain, a candidate said.
Afghanistan is to have parliamentary elections Sept. 18. The number of women competing for the estimated 64 seats reserved for women on the 249-seat parliament rose from 328 in 2005 to 406 for September elections.
Two years on from the end of the devastating 26-year civil war that ripped Sri Lanka apart, Channel 4 News has obtained rare footage from inside the country's northern corner, formerly the Tamil stronghold.
CAIRO: Egyptian female activists are calling on social networks to form a frontline of women at the stand-off point between the military and protesters in downtown Cairo scheduled for later on Sunday, in an attempt to halt the violence that has continued since Friday morning.
The new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women will pump the bulk of its projected US$500 million annual budget into programming to directly benefit the world's most vulnerable women, but this unprecedented boost may still leave the agency lacking influence and impact, civil society advocates say.
Sameena Imtiaz, a soft-spoken, educated Pakistani social worker, operates in the midst of U.S. drone strikes and Taliban suicide bombings. She regularly travels to remote parts of her country in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, infamously known for the safe Al-Qadea and Taliban sanctuaries, to promote peace education among the radicalized young seminary students.
After the US killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1, the organization Women for Afghan Women reported an eerie quiet in Kabul, the capital of strife-torn Afghanistan.
On Friday, President Obama announced that all American troops would leave Iraq by year's end. Newspapers and broadcasts--to say nothing of Facebook and Twitter--hummed with the news.
The United States has not had an easy couple of months in Afghanistan. With news of the kill teams in Kandahar, the recent killing of 16 unarmed civilians by a rogue American soldier, and the controversy surrounding Quran burnings, public sentiment on the war by Afghanis and Americans alike is at an all-time low.
Afghanistan is what Amnesty International deems a "human rights catastrophe". Afghan women and girls have suffered mounting abuses, harassment and restrictions of their fundamental human rights.
Both International Women's Day and Egyptian Women's Day take place in March. The latter commemorates the day in 1919 when women staged their first demonstration in the country's history. That revolution saw women wave small flags as they called for freedom and independence, shouting slogans against the British occupation. Several of them were killed in the demonstration.
The PeaceWomen Team
This month's newsletter is focused on issues of gender in peacekeeping. The edition features a number of news stories showing the UN's growing interest in increasing women's participation in peacekeeping operations (3).
Sam Cook & Felicity Hill