By Sally L Kitch
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Extra info for Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders
NEC was also supplying food for widows, who have no place in Afghan culture and often starve. In addition, the center was providing human rights program training for women in Ghazni, as well as English courses and vocational training. NEC gained the people’s trust, even in conservative Ghazni, by training and hiring teachers from the local area and by starting with Qur’anic education and literacy training, which were seen as fairly noncontroversial topics. After joining those programs, the women became interested in lessons about “gender knowledge, gender information.
Or] the economy” to oppose that opinion. Without economic empowerment, education, and gender sensitization—for both men and women—Marzia thought women would mostly be left out of social reconstruction. Even in her unusual position, Marzia had encountered the very attitudes that she believed would prevent women from assuming true leadership in Afghan society. She gave one example from the early days after her graduation from law school. A man approached her at the courts where she was working and told her he could not find anyone to talk to about his concerns.
One of the worst “cons” was the problem of success. One audience member pointed out that “the more you can get the money into the hands of women, the greater the pressure of the family on the woman to not stop doing” whatever the business is. The next step from there is drugging the children so the woman can keep her attention on the profitable activity. . because we don’t want them to be under pressure, like in the rug industry, to drug their children. . Afghan women have so much work they have to do anyway that it needs to be part of the whole family picture.
Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders by Sally L Kitch