After September 11, the United States justified deep engagement in Afghanistan in part due to the Taliban's harsh repression of women. Now, after sustaining 2,351 deaths and more than 20,000 injuries, and spending north of a trillion dollars, the United States is negotiating peace with the draconian regime it once abhorred.
Like ISIS in the Middle East and al-Shabaab in Africa, the Taliban often uses ultra-conservative interpretations of the Quran to force women into cruel marriages with huge age differences where wives may be abused. Worse yet, women are barred from working outside the home, learning to read, or appearing in public without head-to-toe coverings. Defiance means public flogging or even death...
Co-authored by Swanee Hunt and Wazhma Frogh
Ambassador Swanee Hunt
Ambassador Hunt served as U.S. Ambassador to Austria from 1993 to 1997. She currently serves as the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and as chair of Inclusive Security in Washington.