By Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls, AlterNet. Posted March 30, 2006.
The Western world loudly opposed the death sentence given to a Christian convert in Afghanistan while ignoring the country's oppression of women.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) reports that the number of educational facilities for women has actually been reduced in the past year. In southern Afghanistan, the United Nations reports about 300 girls' schools were burned down in 2005. Nationwide, women's literacy rates are half that of men. Some provinces report literacy rates of 3 percent for women.
[A]n estimated 600 children under the age of 5 die every day in Afghanistan, mostly due to preventable illnesses, some 50 women die every day due to obstetric complications, less than half of primary school age girls attend classes, while a quarter of primary school age children undertake some form of work, and an estimated one-third of women are married before the age of 18.
In 2001, similar statistics were routinely reported as a justification for the war on Afghanistan and women's "liberation." Yet, five years later, the situation has scarcely improved.