This video from CNN in the USA is about Afghan women.
In George W. Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan, in some ways things are even worse for women than in the Taliban’s ‘old’ Afghanistan.
For instance, numbers of women committing suicide are rising.
However, at least some ‘suicides’ are really murder. As this is supposed to be George W. Bush’s brave new Afghanistan, the truth about how these women die is not told.
From AFP news agency:
Afghan woman poet remembered two years on
November 6, 2007
KABUL — Two years ago police discovered the battered body of Nadia Anjuman, a young Afghan poet already known in literary circles for her poignant poems about the misery of being a woman in Afghanistan.
Police arrested her husband on charges of beating her to death in their home in the western city of Herat; he confessed to the assault, but not to murder. Today, the case is classified by the courts as “suicide.”
The death of the 25-year-old thrust her work into the spotlight and, today, her poems – written in the Dari language, which is close to Persian – have been translated into several languages.
They speak of the pain of Afghan women, trapped in a conservative culture torn apart by nearly three decades of war, which were followed by the 1996 to 2001 rule of the extremist Taliban – known for their harsh treatment of women.
An extract from Useless, for example, reads: “Happy the day when I will break the cage / When I will leave this solitude and sing with abandon / I am not a weak tree that sways with every breeze / I am an Afghan girl and it is right that I always cry.”
Anjuman’s work evokes “a great sorrow directly linked to her status as a woman and an Afghan,” says Leili Anvar, a literature expert who has translated some of her poems into French.
Under the Taliban, girls could not go to school, and women were barred from working and confined largely to their homes.
The removal of the fundamentalist regime has seen few improvements to the lives of most Afghan women, who suffer abuse and discrimination.
Women still choose to end their lives through self-immolation, including in Herat, an ancient city of 2 million people and known for its art, culture, and literature.
Anjuman “was becoming a great Persian poet,” the head of the respected Herat Literary Circle, Ahmad Said Haqiqi, said at the time of her death November 4, 2005.
Anvar, who has dedicated several pages of an upcoming anthology of Afghan poetry to Anjuman, agrees. “When one considers her age, the extreme maturity of her work is astonishing,” she says.
Anjuman “showed a great mastery of Persian free verse and of the music of language,” she said.
One of the late poet’s professors at the University of Herat, Mohammad Daud Munir, says her work showed a “deep and comprehensive thought.”
“Her absence has left a gap in the literary community of Herat,” he said.
Anjuman’s first collection, Gul-e-dodi (“Dark Red Flower”), came out a few months before she died, and while she was a university student.
The Herat Literary Circle has since released a second collection of 80 poems, and her work is regularly published, Munir says.
Abroad, beside the publication due in France, Anjuman’s work has also been translated into English and Italian.
The memory of the young woman is fresh among those who were close to her.
Her best friend, Nahid Baqi, who studied with her at university, is bitter.
“Everyone wants to forget,” she said. “There was pressure on the authorities to conclude that it was a suicide.”
A research project led by a Western Carolina University psychology professor indicates that jokes about blondes and women drivers are not just harmless fun and games; instead, exposure to sexist humor can lead to toleration of hostile feelings and discrimination against women.
Media censorship in Afghanistan: here.
Yvonne Ridley interview on Afghan women: here.
Afghan girls: here.
Afghan province bans male tailors from measuring women: here.