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Taliban talks terrify Afghan women
New rights in fragile state
Question of the Day
The Taliban suspended peace talks with the United States last month, setting back the Obama administration’s efforts to end the war in Afghanistan before U.S. combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014.
Karzai’s commitment questioned
There is a risk that the gains made by women “can be traded off for short-term political gain,” said Sima Samar, chairwoman of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Mr. Karzai’s own commitment to these freedoms is also a cause of concern for some women.
He has signed laws that protect women’s rights but also has made comments that have alarmed defenders of those rights.
Last month, Mr. Karzai endorsed a statement from the country’s top religious council that women should not interact with men in schools, offices, universities and shopping centers.
The council also said that women should not travel without male relatives and must respect the right of men to polygamy.
The Karzai administration has set up a High Peace Council to lead the reconciliation process with the militants. Nine of the 69 council members are women, but critics complain that the women’s presence has been largely symbolic.
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About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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