Lashkar Gah is changing. The city has become a building site, as offices, factories and houses are rapidly constructed. Parts of the city in this war-ravaged southern Afghan province are experiencing a property bubble. The most expensive homes are being built next to the heavily fortified Helmand Police Command Centre, giving the owners a sense of security. Inside its walls, Maj Wes Hughes from the Gurkhas leads a small team mentoring the local police. He says that working with other agencies of the Afghan Security forces, they are capable of protecting Lashkar Gah.
Afghan Women Set an Example | Archive - U.S. Agency for International Development
Women also may be called Milk-sharer or Black-headed. The go-to word for Afghans to call a woman in public, no matter her status, is Aunt. But a social media campaign to change this custom has been percolating in recent weeks, initiated by young women. The campaign comes with a hashtag in local languages that addresses the core of the issue and translates as WhereIsMyName. Sohaili said, adding that she and other activists were discussing offline steps to bolster the social media discussion. Like many social media efforts, this one began small, with several posts out of Herat Province in the west.
Bedell has since returned to the United States and will leave the Marines in August. With her braided chignon, she looks more like the competitive equestrian she used to be than the Marine officer she is now. After three years in the military, Bedell is accustomed to plans going awry. Just this evening, when we strode into the tent usually reserved for women visitors, it had been taken over by a dozen Afghan men, translators for a special forces unit, sprawling on the floor and boiling water for tea. Alternative sleeping arrangements soon were found, but the search for a helicopter proves more difficult.
Millions of girls attend schools and universities across the country, and women hold important government jobs. The old Afghan taboo over women in public runs so deep that young schoolboys often get into fights if someone even mentions the name of their mother or sister, an act seen as a dishonor. In a country of war and widows, women struggle to assert themselves as legal guardians of their children in government offices or carry out business transactions in their own names without the presence of a man.