By Mick Krever, CNN
Even without troops in Afghanistan, the international community can and should support women’s rights, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
“International oversight doesn’t require soldiers on the ground,” Heather Barr, who has spent six years in Kabul, said. “As long as the international community is paying for President Karzai’s army and President Karzai’s police force, the international community has leverage.”
All they need to do, she continued, is focus that leverage on women’s rights, something she claims they have not done so far.
By Mick Krever and Juliet Fuisz, CNN
Afghan politicians are already preparing themselves for a less-progressive country once international forces pull out, a female Afghan parliamentarian told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
“They are preparing themselves for a new situation, post-2014,” Fawzia Koofi said from Kabul, “and perhaps to welcome Taliban and their views in terms of women’s rights in Afghanistan.”
Koofi knows the struggles of Afghan women firsthand. When she was just a newborn baby, her parents left her out in the baking sun, torn about whether to keep a girl – thankfully, they had a change of heart.
Her experience, in which women are treated as something less than men, is far from rare in Afghanistan.
Take the example of Sahar Gul, forced at the age of 12 to marry an older man. She ended up in the hospital, close to death, after police found her in the cellar of her husband’s home – starved and tortured, her fingernails torn out.
By Mick Krever & Juliet Fuisz, CNN
Queen Elizabeth II and her cousin, Margaret Rhodes, were born just a few months apart.
They were constant playmates, and have been close friends throughout their lives. Rhodes was there when Elizabeth was smitten with Philip, and was a bridesmaid at their wedding.
So as Queen Elizabeth awaits the birth of her great-grandchild and the next heir to the throne, one would expect Rhodes to be unbearably excited, right?
“Not terribly,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday, exploding with laughter. “Well, you know, everybody has babies, and it’s lovely. I don’t get wildly excited about it.”
“Really?” Amanpour asked, not even for the next heir to the throne? “History?”
“Yes, all right, I’m prepared to be excited,” Rhodes relented with a smile.