Faces of Afghanistan

A new photo essay in Mother Jones highlights Afghan women.

Published August 1, 2007 4:00PM (EDT)

Mother Jones has a great photo essay up about the current lives of women in Afghanistan. (Warning: Some of the images are gruesome.) I'd argue that the essay's text goes a bit too far in blaming America for Afghan women's fate (last time I checked, the Taliban were not subscribing to Ms.), but it's an important visual reminder of how much help is needed.

Here's how the photo essay is described on the site:

"Six years [after the American invasion], the burka is more common than before, an 'overwhelming majority' of Afghan women suffer domestic violence, according to aid group Womankind, and honor killings are on the rise. Health care is so threadbare that every 28 minutes a mother dies in childbirth -- the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Girls attend school at half the rate boys do, and in 2006 at least 40 teachers were killed by the Taliban. For two years, Canadian photojournalist Lana Slezic crisscrossed Afghanistan -- from Mazar-e-Sharif in the north to Kandahar in the south -- to document these largely hidden realities."

For readers who want to help, here two organizations involved in assisting Afghan women:

... a little help gathers donations for schools, maternity wards, vocational classes and women in prison.

Women for Women provides women with "rights awareness and leadership education, literacy, and vocational skills training."

And here's a much larger list of organizations that are in some way involved in Afghanistan.

By Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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