Karzai Moves to Take Over (and Shutdown) Women’s Shelters

Afghan women and public interest groups are opposing an effort of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take over all of the shelters for abused and battered women. You may recall Karzai’s earlier feminist agenda when he initially support the legalization of rape. The new move is viewed as a way for the government to satisfy hardliners in blocking access to some women to shelters. The government is also expected to close some shelters entirely.

Not only are many shelters expected to be closed under Karzai’s plan but women will have to be subject to a medical review to be admitted to shelters and will be prevented from leaving the shelters. They will also be subject to periodic reviews with the possibility of being forced to leave the shelters.

Attacks on women have been increasing. One such case was shocking even by Afghan standards. Bibi Aisha, the young teenage Afghan girl who appeared on the cover of Time Magazine last summer, had her nose and ears cut off after she fled her abusive husband. The Taliban issued the Sharia-based sentence and her own relatives cut off her nose and ears after they found her trying to flee to one of the shelters. Karzai was clearly horrified by the story and now wants to close that and other shelters. He and his brothers also have a reputation for ripping off money from public programs.

Karzai has announced that following the takeover “[those shelters] who are found in violation of the established standards and the rules and regulations will be taken over by the Afghan government.” Some conservative government officials and a leading television presenter have accused the shelters of being little more than brothels — an accusation rejected by observers and international groups. Instead, these groups believe Karzai (who has repeatedly said that he wishes he had supported the Taliban and not the United States) is cracking down on shelters to appease the Taliban and eventually entice them to join his government.

While international groups are organizing an international campaign to try to protect these women, the Obama Administration has only been willing to publicly express “concern” over the move. I wonder if that weak expression of “concern” includes the fact that we have American women and men dying for a government that continue to treat when as chattel and defends those of mutilate little girls in the name of morality.

In the meantime, human rights groups have issued a report that the situation for women in Iraq is worse since the United States took over the country.

Source: PBS

Jonathan Turley

24 thoughts on “Karzai Moves to Take Over (and Shutdown) Women’s Shelters”

  1. Mr. Karzai has been seeking common ground with the Taliban for quite some time. It’s time for us to leave him to his own devices.

  2. Would we better off economicaly if we just brought all the Afghan women here. Surely there are plenty of countries who could help. Maybe then the Afghan ‘men’ would learn to appreciate what they have.

  3. Buddha-

    Great comment! If Karzai is going to “pal around” with the Taliban, maybe he should ditch the “Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors” look. It might be a bit too Biblical for his Koran-toting buddies. Plain brown is the preferred ensemble, and always in style since 2011 B.C.

  4. May I be so bold as to ask, “Why are we still in Afghanistan?”

    December,2001 Location of Osama bin Laden:

    Tora Bora,Afghanistan >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Somewhere in Pakistan

    He left-We didn’t.

  5. rafflaw,

    That has to be one of my all-time favorite Colbert quotes!

    Since we’re on the subject of horses, I’m thinking that the more money we throw at Karzai, the more we look like this:


  6. Should you trust a man prone to wear horse blankets as a fashion accessory?

  7. It’s almost like he feels that the American government will continue to support him no matter how disgusting his actions. Given history, it’s a pretty safe bet.

  8. And this is different in spirit from the Planned Parenthood vote in the House how exactly? Perhaps magnitude of harm, perhaps not.

  9. rafflaw,

    You would think that the brilliant minds running this country would have caught a clue from the Soviet’s Afghanistan adventure.

    As the esteemed Rev. Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A. has said, “Some say, ‘Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.’ I say, ‘Those who ignore history are in for a big surprise.”

  10. Karzai must subscribe to the GOP’s definition of women – chattel unworthy of equality.

  11. What a choice the Afghan people seem to have – a coalition of Karzai and the warlords or the taliban.

  12. How out of touch is Karzai? Doesn’t he realize that actions like this that he initiates increase the American populations distatse for anything related to the Afgan war?

  13. “Afghan women and public interest groups are opposing an effort of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take over all of the shelters for abused and battered women.”

    What is it with these women issues and these**men ?**

    I really don’t get it with what seems to be an assault on women worldwide.

Comments are closed.