On Monday, Josh Rogin reported on a “shadow summit for Afghan women” held in Chicago during the NATO summit there, calling attention to the concern that allied withdrawal from the country will leave women in Afghanistan at the mercy of the grotesquely misogynistic Taliban. Yesterday, Human Rights Watch’s Ken Roth followed by lambasting NATO’s seeming lack of attention to human rights, especially for women in Afghanistan.
Roth noted that “many of the world leaders assembled in Chicago — though, notably, not Karzai — spoke eloquently about their commitment to human rights, particularly for women. But the test of that commitment is whether anybody cares enough to put in place a concrete plan to carry it out.” Human rights advocates are worried that when troops leave, the Taliban will work to delete any and all progress on women’s rights. This morning, the Taliban again answered that concern: they will not wait for the troops to leave:
More than 120 schoolgirls and three teachers have been poisoned in the second attack in as many months blamed on conservative radicals in the country’s north, Afghan police and education officials said on Wednesday….
Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), says the Taliban appear intent on closing schools ahead of a 2014 withdrawal by foreign combat troops….
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education said last week that 550 schools in 11 provinces where the Taliban have strong support had been closed down by insurgents.