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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 15, 2010 / 29 Adar 5770

Only good can come from empowering women

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If your impression of an Afghan woman is of a shapeless, frightened form engulfed in yards of heat-trapping fabric, you haven't met Shafiqa Quraishi.

Make that Colonel Quraishi, who earned her title as one of 900-plus female members of the Afghan National Police.

Quraishi, who today is director of gender, human and child rights within the Afghan Ministry of the Interior, was one of nine women in town last week to receive the International Women of Courage Award from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

She and fellow Afghan award recipient Shukria Asil sat down Thursday for lunch and conversation with members of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council to discuss ways to help women and children struggling for rights and security.

Whatever you think you know about Afghanistan, the reality is probably far better — and far worse. And though many women still wear burqas, they are less visible these days on city streets as women assume new roles.

Speaking through interpreters, the two women reiterated a dominant theme that was repeated over and over during several days of events honoring brave women around the world.

"We are not victims."

Yes, of course, many have been victimized by brutal regimes in some cases, or by cultural forces, or by men who have hijacked religion to justify actions that would be treated as crimes in our part of the world. But these women are not seeking restitution; they are seeking empowerment.

This is a crucial distinction that underscores the courage they display in the routine machinations we call everyday life.

Female judges kiss their families goodbye in the mornings and make peace with their maker just in case they don't return. Parents send their daughters to school despite assaults such as the acid attacks on 15 schoolgirls and teachers in 2008.

I heard the "not victims" refrain a day earlier from another group of women — from Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Brazil and Haiti — here to be honored by Vital Voices Global Partnership, a nongovernmental organization that works to empower female leaders and social entrepreneurs around the world.

Letter from JWR publisher


Vital Voices, which grew out of the U.N.'s Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, focuses on advancing women as a U.S. foreign-policy goal. Translation: Empowering women will lead to greater prosperity and world peace.

One cannot sit and talk with these women and escape inspiration. On one end of the spectrum is Afnan al Zayani, a chief executive from Bahrain who leads the Middle East and North Africa Businesswomen's Network. On the other is Rebecca Lolosoli, matriarch of Kenya's Umoja Village, an all-women's community she created to support women, girls, orphans and widows who had been abandoned by their families or were fleeing domestic violence, forced marriage or genital mutilation.

It sort of puts that bad-hair day in perspective, doesn't it?

But, again, they refuse to be victims.

Roshaneh Zafar, who founded the first microfinance organization in Pakistan focusing on low-income women, is adamant on this point. She doesn't want to be rescued (nor does she have any interest in apologizing for her religion).

"Like all women everywhere, we want to be empowered."

That means jobs, money, security and government protection. And no, said the colonel, women do not need to do handicrafts. When you think of an Afghan woman, in other words, don't think of an embroidered tapestry; think of a cop. Tapestries are lovely, and we all want one, but Quraishi prefers that women have guns. Her immediate goal is to expand the number of women in the police force to 5,000.

Hers is a daunting task in part because of cultural barriers. Both men and women have to be convinced that police work, as well as other nontraditional professions, is "respectable" for a woman. And before women can become professionals of any sort, they have to be educated. Only 30 percent of Afghan girls attend school, in part because of the danger but also because of poverty.

Children are needed to work, if they are not already heads of household, as many are. Asil says that with $100 a month, a child can feed his family for a month. But where does one get that kind of money in a nation struggling to reinvent basic institutions?

From people like those who are part of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council and Vital Voices. If you can spare a dime, you could save a girl. Save a girl, save the planet.

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