COLUMN: Government should give rights to Afghan women

Well, once again Democrats are having great ideas. Once Afghanistan is finished off or we accomplish what we set out to do, there will have to be a new government installed will have to be installed there.

This is a very important issue, simply because we can install democratic viewpoints there and make it an entirely better country, if we work together. Creation of a new government in Afghanistan must incorporate full rights for Afghan women, banned from public life by the ruling Taliban. This is an idea Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald of California introduced on Saturday.

In the Democratic reaction to President Bush's weekly radio address, Rep. Millender-McDonald of California said a dominant issue in transforming Afghanistan was the future role of women.

"We, as Americans, must stand up for the women of Afghanistan,'' Millender-McDonald said. "After years of being subjugated and brutally repressed, it is time for them to return to the level of government and participation they once enjoyed and were guaranteed by the Afghan constitution.''

We can even use their old constitution as a guideline in the process of rebuilding the government.

Under the Taliban, women were banned from work outside the home, and appearances in public were regulated severely. It was a striking change from the late 1970s when women were guaranteed full rights and held positions in government, business and academia, Millender-McDonald said.

The women of Afghanistan have been dominated for quite a while now and it is good to see that legislators, not just Millender-McDonald, want to see that women are treated as they are supposed to be.

"We can be certain any future government of Afghanistan will not be sustainable unless all elements of Afghan society are included, especially its women, in determining a lasting settlement and political framework for the future,'' she said.

What a wonderful statement that is. We can't possibly expect a government to work if we just totally dominate how it functions and control its every move.

We should set up some guidelines and see that those are incorporated into the Afghan society, so the control will not be overwhelming. Hopefully, it will be a smooth transition; and Republicans and Democrats can work together to come up with some guidelines for rebuilding their government. This is a great opportunity for teamwork.

Just a little reminder-Mel Fox is coming to speak on Dec. 6 at the Student Center. Hope to see you there! Have a great rest of the week!

Write to Courtney at cjsturgeon@bsu.edu.


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