Behind the depressing news from Afghanistan are women achieving healthy social change, says an international journalist with wide experience in conflict zones all over the world.
Award-winning journalist and Order of Canada recipient Sally Armstrong, who splits her time between Toronto and Saltspring Island, will speak at the First Metropolitan United Church tonight at 7 on the effect of decades of war on Afghan women.
In 1996, as a Grade 9 student in a Vancouver suburb, I read in the newspaper about the arrival of the Taliban into Kabul and their imposition of perhaps the most backwards, misogynist regime ever known. The fury I felt at the idea of women and girls losing their rights on the basis of their gender alone, and at the cruelty being doled out in the Taliban's so-called justice system, propelled me into action. I became an activist, and I stayed an activist.
Even in war-weary Afghanistan and its endless unfolding catalogue of horror, the case of a 15 year old girl named Sahar Gul shocked and ashamed many Afghans as they watched television images of her limp and bruised form being carried to hospital ER.