Casualty recording has redefined efforts to protect civilians in conflict, and provide aid and accountability to victims of violence. But with an absence of political will to respond to conflict, what good are the numbers?
Despite the success of Afghanistan’s transparent, peaceful election, engagement
with rural populations remained low. Failure to address the growing disaffection resulting from the urban-rural gap threatens the country's fragile progress.
Forecasts past the withdrawal of US and British forces in Afghanistan tend to prize fears of violence and instability spilling over into Pakistan, obscuring the country's vital importance to both India and China.
of Afghan women’ was part of the dominant rhetoric used by international forces
to justify military intervention and the ‘war on terror’ in post- 2001
Afghanistan. Yet, Afghanistan’s struggle for women’s rights did not begin with
the arrival of troops, nor will it end upon their withdrawal
Can an invasion of Afghanistan ever be considered to be a mission accomplished? The British in the 19th century, the Soviets in the 20th and now 21st century ISAF is pulling out its troops. What have they achieved and what is likely to happen afterwards?
Does the new criminal procedure code in Afghanistan really signal the
definitive demise of all efforts to curb violence against women? An accurate reading of the law, and a more
nuanced understanding of post-NATO developments and their impact on women’s
rights tells a different story.
The US military's attempt to mobilize local militias against the Taliban paradoxically imposes a “traditional” mode of governance on a subject people initially the target of an emancipatory and liberating discourse to justify
military intervention in 2001. This is the sub-text to the corrosive relationship between President Karzai and his western allies.
The word 'refugee' conjures up images of rows of tents, barefoot children and saddened faces. The reality is more complex. My research shows that Afghan refugees have developed lives alongside Pakistani nationals in Karachi's poor katchi abadi areas: marrying, working, loving and learning together.
The Baathist regime is indeed guilty of
great war crimes, but the human cost of a failed state would be a greater
catastrophe. Washington should have learnt this lesson from Afghanistan,
Somalia and Iraq.
The international community has addressed Afghanistan through
an ethnic prism. As anxiety grows about the future after international forces
leave in 2014, a trajectory needs to be established towards a post-ethnic
society--and the dispersed diaspora can play a role.
The attempt to get the Afghan parliament to ratify a key law
on violence against women ended in a fiasco and has been angrily dismissed as
the politicking of a single ambitious female politician. But the controversies
around the EVAW law show that there are no perfect strategies available to
women activists in Afghanistan.
Initially mandated to protect and assist, the humanitarian project in Kabul has significantly reshaped the city over the past decade. In the absence of democratic control, and in the face of pervasive neoliberal logics, what happens to Kabuli's right to the city?
A comprehensive peace will clearly not be achieved militarily, but
how can the warring factions engaged with the complex conflict in Afghanistan
be brought into negotiations? Engagement with Alternative Dispute Resolution
practices at the regional level offers potential.
We need to say
“enough!” to the leadership of people who foster oligarchy and treat
Afghanistan as a playground for their selfish interests. The biggest
battlefront is the election. Whatever change may happen, if women’s
perspectives are not included, it will make no difference to the lives of
women at all.
Each year, for one week in September, Kabulis celebrate Martyrs Week. The image war which ensues on the streets, buildings and public spaces of the city is highly political, and has in recent years become increasingly violent.
With more fundamentalists predicted to win seats in the forthcoming election, the future
is likely to see once again the use of religion as an instrument of extreme gender
based oppression in Afghanistan. Will President Karzai use his remaining days in office to cement the foundations of
Until 2012, there was no comprehensive U.S. strategy on Afghanistan. Additionally, a number of systemic issues hampered the development of the Afghan state and economic gains. After the withdrawal of most U.S. troops in 2014,
the only viable option for Afghanistan's development lies in consolidating regional
Women can only hope for a better
future if the next generation of Afghans is taught to unlearn religious,
cultural, and gender prejudices that are instrumental in their oppression.
Education is pivotal to this vision, and it is the single attainable factor
that keeps the hope of our women alive