Soon after President Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a Tweet on November 9, the President appointed Chris Miller, as acting Defense Secretary and Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor as Miller’s senior advisor. Both are loyal to the President and are strong opponents of maintaining a U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
In an interview, the president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars said that the war in Afghanistan has no Islamic justification. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Raissouni said that the killing of Muslims is a “great sin” and that carrying out suicide attacks against Muslims is “prohibited” in Islam.
With Afghan peace talks ongoing, the Taliban are attempting to use a surge in violence as leverage in the intra-Afghan talks—taking the lives of many Afghan civilians and army personnel.
At an event held Tuesday at the United States Institute of Peace, the Afghan minister for women’s affairs, Hasina Safi, stressed that we must build on the achievements of the Afghan people, especially the Afghan women.
Afghan mothers will have their names printed on their children’s national identity cards, thanks to the #WhereIsMyName campaign, which challenged taboos around women’s names.
President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday signed into law an amendment long sought by women’s rights campaigners.
Until now, Afghan law dictated that only the father’s name should be recorded on ID cards.
Using a woman’s name in public in Afghanistan is traditionally frowned upon and can be considered an insult.
Gaining a seat on the UNCSW is one of many achievements that Afghan women have made during the last two decades. Despite the threats, harassment, and attacks, Afghan women have made progress, from participating in presidential and provincial elections to winning a seat in parliament.
The Afghan “peace” process is intensifying, with talks soon to begin between the government and Taliban. But advances in women’s rights over the last decades, including the opportunities created by increased literacy and access to education, are at risk of betrayal by a rushed negotiation designed exclusively to advance U.S. strategic interests, with neither the Afghan government nor civil society and women’s rights groups having been meaningfully involved.
The total number of girls enrolled in schools across Afghanistan has gone from only 9,000 in 1999, to more than 2.4 million girls today. This fragile success story is now under threat.
Ahead of the Intra-Afghan talks, expected in days, a coalition of Afghan women’s rights groups have released an open letter to Taliban leadership calling for a peaceful resolution to the four decades of war, reaffirming their position to preserve and build on the gains of the last 20 years, and calling for a meeting with senior members of the group.
“The horrific images of babies and mothers shocked my soul, and made me numb. I felt so powerless and helpless. It was the first time in my life I felt awful pain and hatred. My love of humanity was tested so hard, as I felt that I had no control of myself. My only response was to scream and say again: It was an attack on the Hazara community.”
In an open letter to global women leaders, a coalition of Afghan women from across the country has asked to “stand by their side to protect women’s rights” in Afghanistan.