I wrote recently about the difficulty the women activists of Afghanistan are having in making women's rights part of the negotiations their government is having with the Taliban and how there is really nothing we can do about it. It's not an Afghan problem in particular, it's the problem of every woman living in a country that follows Muslim law. Forget the movement afoot in the country to have that double standard!
In Iran a mother of two sits in prison awaiting her fate for allegedly committing adultery. She's been there since 2006 and has already suffered through a 99 stroke lashing. If the court has it's way she will be wrapped in a white shroud, buried up to her chest in a dirt pit and pelted with rocks large enough to hurt but not kill her instantly. It may take a half hour or so. Efforts by her now adult children have gotten the sentence put on hold due to intervention from the West. Hanging may be the alternative - if there is one. There are at least ten others, seven women and three men, awaiting the same fate for their "crime against God." Who's' merciful God might this be?
Intervention from the West. Hillary is off to Afghanistan to refine our goals. According to the press, and that's the only resource available to me, the agenda is to include plans from the Afghan government "to improve security, reintegrate militants into society and crack down on corruption." She is to reaffirm our commitment to Karzai, while pressuring him to follow through on pledges already made. No small task to be sure. Nine years and we're still cajoling him.
The one thing missing from all the talks? Women's issues. The Muslim women cannot do it alone. We cannot do it for them but as with China and North Korea, why are not human rights on every agenda? Of course we're not going to change any minds. Their religion and their laws are one and for better or for worse they abide by them. At least we should be on the record as objecting to the inhumaneness of them.
In the meantime one woman awaits a decision on her fate. Ten others know theirs. We need to remember that being "stoned" in a Muslim country is not getting high on drugs!