There are an estimated two million war widows in Afghanistan and their plight is easy to ignore. There are at least 50,000 widows in Kabul who survive under horrific conditions in a city which has among the lowest incomes in the world. There is no social security system in Afghanistan and widows do not receive pensions or housing, or even be guaranteed safety. Women can be seen begging on the streets. Afghan male culture looks down on marrying a widow and raising her children.
Many women have adopted the burqa because it offers a degree of safety. As Gul, who was widowed when an American bomb hit her house leaving her to raise two teenage girls, puts it, “the men hurl abuse at me, they make indecent gestures and I’m always being harassed, but at least they cannot see me.”
Her daughters want to go to school but can not afford it. Her 14-year-old daughter wants to become a teacher, but that probably is a dream. Her 16-year-old daughter fumes at the government, “My mother is a beggar, the government doesn’t care about us. They do not offer to help us, nothing changed for us in this new Afghanistan.”
We Americans are not accepting responsibility for how our actions have and are impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan. I laugh when reading reports of American planes bombing and reporting, “X number of Taliban were killed.” How in God’s name can someone up in the sky distinguish between a “Taliban” and an ordinary citizen? Every day our planes bomb and kill civilians. We have a responsibility to provide pensions, work, and education for these innocent victims of our madness.
Information from The Independent