Website PBS Frontline
Among the most powerful images from Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 were those of women shedding their burqas, going back to work and sending their daughters to school. As their country emerged from decades of war and repressive regimes, Afghan women, who had been nearly invisible during six years of fundamentalist rule, began actively participating in public life. But the initial promise of reconstruction has fallen short. Women still experience many of the same problems — poor health care, illiteracy, lack of security and political powerlessness — that they experienced under the Taliban. And they still face many of the same restrictions on their everyday lives. Rona Popal, president of Afghan Women’s Association International, says the challenge now is “how to work with ordinary people to let them know that women are human beings.”
Afghanistan ranks last in Mother’s health and welfare.
The advancement of women’s rights is critical to political and economic progress everywhere around the world. This is especially true in Afghanistan, where women’s human rights have been ignored, attacked and eroded over decades, especially under Taliban rule.