When Peace Isn't Equal

I read in Time yesterday that there is talk of reaching a peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"Peace" you say?  Hoorah!


I'm reminded of the quote "we don't negotiate with terrorists."  If there is talk of giving the Taliban license to rule, then apparently we do negotiate with terrorists?  And I don't mean "terrorist" necessarily in the "we blow stuff up" way, but in the, "only half of the population are human beings" sort of way.  If somebody showed up at my door, told me I had to forget everything I've learned and drop the dream of a PhD, cover up my face everyday, hand the car keys over to my male keeper, and stay home bound all day, I'd call them a terrorist.

The New York Times published an article today about the worries being voiced from international women's groups about the backslide in Afghani women's rights that could occur if the Taliban were given full control of the country again.   There's quite an uproar, with good reason.

Last year I saw the movie Osama about a girl living with her mother under Taliban rule.  Her father had died and women were not allowed to work, so the mother dressed the girl like a boy and sennt her to work.  When all of the boys in the city were rounded up to go to Taliban Day Camp, it became evident things were not going to turn out well.  I cried.

The girl who plays Osama, Marina Golbahari, was interviewed after seeing the film, and she said she had a difficult time watching it because it reminded her of when the Taliban ruled.  At thirteen in a Taliban-free time, she enjoyed going to school and living in the house that was purchased for her family by the film's director, even though it leaks.  She has done several short films since this feature, but her father does not want her to do any more because it is "immodest."

There's other change afoot in Afghanistan: the first all girl metal band, Burka Blue, is alive and well, despite music being also viewed as "immodest."  I'm curious what will happen to the girls should the Taliban be coerced into a "peace" treaty.

So the difficult question, in summary, remains: who would experience the peace of a peace treaty with a group like the Taliban?  The women who will be pulled from school, returned as wards to the men in their family, possibly beaten, possibly killed for behavior viewed as improper from a woman?

I don't like war, I don't like killing, (who does...?), but I also don't like the idea of a "peace" that potentially benefits only half of a population.  That's actually pretty sorry, and I hope it doesn't come to pass. 

There's no such thing as pseudo-peace.  Sorry, feds. 

And if you're interested in women's rights and portrayal in media, About Face is a great web site to check out.  Just FYI.