An Afghani Feminist Just Returned From Northern Afghanistan Tells of Life Under the Taliban

October 26, 2001

US bombs have destroyed two Red Cross warehouses in Kabul, wiping out stocks of food and cooking oil intended for widows and disabled people, Red Cross officials told reporters. Overnight attacks killed five people, including three children.

Meanwhile, US military leaders acknowledged using devastating cluster bombs in Afghanistan, as they ran into a storm of criticism for killing innocent civilians.

As the US-led attacks against Afghanistan continues, it is Afghanistan’s women who are bearing the brunt of the humanitarian consequences.

The voices of even educated, professional women are rarely heard in Afghanistan, much less their poorer, less educated sisters.

But their tales, of both life under the Taliban and the bombardments, reveal an existence stretched to the point ofbeing unbearable.

For Afghanistan’s women, deprived of the right to work and to receive an education under the Taliban, the bitterness is compounded by fear for the future they and their daughters will face. The US is attempting to cobble together a coalition that might replace the Taliban, but women and women’s rights have been totally excluded from the discussion, including groups such as the Rev. Assoc. Women of Afghanistan, which oppose all of the factions with which the US is working.


  • Nasreen Gross, Afghan children’s and women’s rights activist and founder of the Afghan human rightsorganization NIGAR.

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