”EVERYONE wept!” Penny Williams, Australia’s new Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, had eyes the size of saucers as she described the scene at a recent Australia-US discussion about violence against women in the Pacific. ”They were loud tears too, and I mean really loud. We were all crying.”
For Afghan women like Nahida*, a mother of four children – three to a Taliban father – Barack Obama last week delivered a painful and shocking blow. Like most women in Afghanistan, Nahida is terrified of a return to Taliban power.
Television journalist Jamila Mujahid will never forget the day she broke the biggest story of her life. And she did it wearing her bedroom slippers!
The city of Kabul had been under heavy fire for days, and the Taliban were weakening. Finally on the 13th of November 2001 they succumbed, and before dawn truckloads of Taliban fled the capital. Later that morning a fierce gun battle with the remaining hardliners ended in a bloodbath, with Taliban bodies splayed on the street. When the shooting stopped Jamila ran out of her home and raced through the streets in her Burqa and slippers.
It was the sort of refreshing honesty from a politician that slips under the radar but gives a clue as to how progressive politics might handle the ”women issue” in the future.