9 out of 10 Afghan women fear Taliban’s return: Survey

October 3rd, 2011 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) Nine out of 10 women in Afghanistan are worried about the Taliban returning to power as it could risk the gains they have made in the past 10 years, a survey by NGO ActionAid has found.

“In a poll conducted among 1,000 women across Afghanistan, 66 percent said they feel safer now than they did 10 years ago, while 72 percent believed their lives are better now than 10 years ago,” the survey, released Monday, said in the wake of the current reconciliation process with the Taliban.

“Of those who fear a return of the Taliban, 1 in 5 cited their daughters’ education as the main concern,” the survey report said. Oct 7 marks the 10th anniversary of the US and British forces’ intervention in Afghanistan.

For experts working with the women of the war-ravaged territory, their inclusion in policy-making has been the major concern till now.

“All parties involved must make public statements that the equal rights for men and women that are enshrined in the Afghan constitution - including women’s right to education, to work, and to participate in public life - are sacred and will never be overturned,” said Belinda Calaguas, director of policy of ActionAid.

The NGO’s Afghanistan country director, P.V. Krishnan said: “If Afghan women are excluded from decision-making on the future of their country, we risk not only sacrificing the gains made for women over the past ten years, but Afghanistan will be a less stable society as a result.”

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