On our first full day out into Kabul, I saw an old woman being dragged across the street by two men.One of our delegates said she thought she saw the men kick the clearly resisting woman.
This happened only a few blocks away from our meeting with Women for Women International, where they said if they would have seen the altercation they would have intervened.They claim to have educated 20,000 women since 2002 in vocational and civic training.They choose women who have been affected by conflict and have hit bottom.As the woman program director explained, women have rights in Islam and some Mullahs need to be taught.That is why she travels the country to train the Mullahs. There is a big difference between the cities and the rural parts of the country on a number of issues including women’s rights.
When many people were concerned about the Bush administration bombing another country unjustly, namely Iran, I decided I needed to go to the country to find out about this so-called “axis of evil.”
While there was much to criticize about the Iranian government, I found the people to be the most hospitable I have encountered. I also found a lot of the demonizing of the country to be unfounded.
I’ve been spending much more time working on a change in Afghanistan policy since the beginning of the year. As with Iran, I thought that traveling to Afghanistan would help deepen my understanding of the country and discuss, with more authority, policy recommendations.