Alternet has a list posted of urgent issues that need action. While I’m very pleased to see helping the women of Afghanistan at the top of that list, their suggested action–signing a petition to the President and Congress “to support laws and enforcement of women’s rights in Afghanistan”–leaves a tad to be desired. We need to be very clear that we elected Obama despite his stating very clearly that he planned to escalate U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and that women’s rights are not a priority for Congress or the President. Sending petitions, forgive my cynicism, isn’t going to accomplish jack.
If you truly want to help the women of Afghanistan, the best way to do so (in addition to demanding an end to U.S, militarism which is a significant contributing factor to the current situation) is to directly support their efforts to address the issues they face. There are many organizations raising money in various ways to support these efforts. I am particularly impressed with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan RAWA. In the U.S. you can make a tax-deductible donation to help their work via the Afghan Women’s Mission. Another excellent way to help is the Madre Afghan Women’s Survival Fund.
Ending military aggression is crucial, but to create real, sustainable peace, we must empower women.
To learn more about the impact of militarism on Afghan women, check out the following:
and the Brave New Foundation’s Re-Think Afghanistan has an excellent series of videos.