Two contrasting news items from Afghanistan attracted my attention yesterday, which in a way was concerned with the women of that country. A country where the women were restricted to being a creature whose part was just to live in seclusion, oppression and in servility to the men in all walks life, the first of the two news items looked significant. A large number of widows who had been struggling to the confines of their homes, compromising with whatever available in their vicinity to look after their family, gets a new life. “Cash for work” is a program funded by the Americans by which these widows are able to earn and take care of their families. These women are given the charge of renovating buildings entirely on their own, thereby enabling them to earn not less than $9 a day, which sumptuously take care of their family’s needs. The women are very happy and say that this particular scheme has instilled a new life in them.
If the above event was a positive step forward in the lives of women of Afghanistan, the second news item takes the country many centuries backward. The fundamentalist are the desperadoes here, who burn down a girl’s school! What in the world would make these ignorant religious fundamentalist understand that education is the thing that lead a society to prosperity. These radicals should also understand that girl's education is very important in bringing down one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. Every levelheaded citizens of the world can only hope that Afghanistan’s political control will never go into the hands of these retards.