Eight years have passed since Laura Bush declared that "because of our recent military gains, women are no longer imprisoned in their homes" in Afghanistan. For eight years, that claim has been a lie.
The fact is that life for women in Afghanistan has gotten worse since the Taliban were removed from power. Once they chafed under the slavish conditions the Taliban imposed on their daily lives. Today they suffer under the exact same conditions, this time under the rule of the regime of warlords put in place by the U.S.-led coalition. And in addition to this oppression, women in Afghanistan are forced to cope with war.
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Some well-meaning Westerners believe that the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan benefits Afghan women. But the truth is that American military escalation will not liberate the women of Afghanistan. Instead, it will bring only more war - the hardships of which are always suffered disproportionately by women. With the risk of death outside their doorsteps, Afghan women are confined to their homes to an even greater extent than under the Taliban. More and more women are being forced by war into prostitution, often for a clientele of foreign troops. Self-immolation among Afghan women today is at an all-time high. This war is doing more to destroy women's lives than the Taliban ever was able to.
For years, the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan has raised funds to help relieve Afghan families from the violence and displacement of war. There are 1,000 displaced families in a refugee camp in Kabul. It costs US $15 per family for each to receive the minimum relief necessary for their survival. In total, that adds up to $15,000 to help all of these families.