Lost Boys


Curled-up in front of the fire one night, reading Taleban by Ahmed Rashid, I was struck by one statement which said that the Talibs has rose out of refugee camps during the Afghan civil war. Young boys, who were often separated from their mothers and sisters and other female relatives, were easy picking for the austere misogynism of Mullahs Omar and Akhund.

There followed state-sanction mistreatment of women against women which went beyond much already experienced in a socially-conservative, highly rural region; and had been documented many years before it became fashionable to portray women in chadors as “female ninja warriors”.

My memory of this was jogged by a report in The Daily Telegraph of a US-run Provisional Reconstruction Team, based at Gardez, Afghanistan.  Just eight female military personnel on site include Staff Sergeant Quitez Garcia who says:

The women – “we band of sisters”, according to Garcia – are firm believers in empowering Afghan women because of the influence they have on their sons.

HAT TIP – Akinoluna.


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