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Additional resources for Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders
Masuda also pointed to the high maternal mortality rate (as high as 60 percent at the time) and the pathetically small amount of money targeting the problem (only $15 million). She reiterated the importance of working through Islam to solve Afghanistan’s problems, and she warned that a failure to do so could actually make things worse for women. Jamila Afghani emphasized the lack of female teachers, without whom girls could not get educated, and the continuing lack of consultation with women themselves as international donors and the Afghan government designed programs to meet their needs.
Like Jamila, Farida was also counting on the power of education to bring peace to Afghanistan. She was dismayed that the current textbooks in many schools in Afghanistan and in schools for refugees in Pakistan were filled with violence. 10 Political groups were trying to indoctrinate the children. “When they go back to their families, of course, if they have knowledge of such violence, it’s very difficult to bring peace within one year or two years,” Farida admitted. They see how easy it is to blow up school buildings.
S. Women Judges Association was thirty-seven years old. Marzia explained that the purpose of the AWJA was to promote the rule of law, help reform Afghanistan’s legal and judicial system, create solidarity among female judges, expand the legal and professional rights of women judges, stand up for the rights of women and indigents, and increase all Afghan women’s knowledge of their rights and standing under the law. The AWJA especially wanted to get at least one or two women appointed to the Afghan Supreme Court, which, like its counterpart in the United States, has nine members.