To help Afghan women, end the war!

Our new Kroc Institute report, Afghan Women Speak, has sparked considerable interest. You can view it here.

During the recent release event at the UN Church Center in New York, the discussion focused on how to end the war in a responsible manner that protects the precarious progress women have made since 2001. The deteriorating security situation has jeopardized women’s gains. As Nicholas Kristof wrote recently in the New York Times, “Let’s not fool ourselves that we are doing favors for Afghan women by pursuing an unsustainable war.” Let’s increase the amount of economic aide and reduce the portion of bombs and bullets.

I recently discussed these issues and the findings of our report with leaders of the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority and Women’s Action for New Directions in Washington, DC. Here are some of the takeaways from that conversation:

  • The more we empower women and fund women’ organizations on the ground in Afghanistan, the more we help to create democracy and peace.
  • U.S. aid should go directly to Afghan women, not to contractor organizations that are run by men. USAID has earmarked hundreds of millions for Afghan women, but most of it is channeled through major corporations and organizations and never leaves U.S. shores. Very little trickles down to the women on the ground who really need the help.
  • The U.S. should work primarily and directly with indigenous secular nonprofit groups that are created and run by women.  If you want to help the women, give the money to them, not to men.
  • More important than withdrawing U.S. military forces is withdrawing unaccountable U.S. contractors, almost all men, who pay themselves fat salaries and skim off resources for their own operations.
  • Women need to be fully represented in the peace and reconciliation process and must have a seat at the table during negotiations for Afghanistan’s political future.

One thought on “To help Afghan women, end the war!

  1. WHY WE ARE ALWAYS BROKE: things we need to know about the economy By William Crumley CSC
    War and who profits from war is a central question in Why We Are Always Broke: things we need to know about the economy. The book looks at underlying institutions which promote wars.
    Who finances wars?
    Who profits from wars?
    It looks at financial and political organizations created in the last 100 years because of war. Several treaties signed at the end of wars as well as the economic impact of those treaties are examined. A central thesis of the book is individuals and nations are controlled by keeping them in debt. War is a principal means of creating debt.
    President Eisenhower, a military hero, warned us in 1961 that every dollar spent on war or defense ultimately was money taken from education, health care, and other needs of our people. The book looks at this statement of President Eisenhower.
    The book looks at the national debt which has grown immensely in recent years. The debt is due in large part to war. The book describes the influence of America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, on this country and others. The author tells how this system of private bankers has manipulated the U.S. Government by propagating debt. He details a major purpose of Federal Reserve issued money is to fund weapons manufacturing and U.S. Military activity.
    The book contains almost 200 quotes from notes and materials of persons directly involved in decisions which led us to war.
    The book looks at the radical economic reforms President Kennedy was implementing in the summer of 1963, prior to his assassination. JFK took steps to restore economic stability to the USA and cut our military, especially foreign military, expenses. Kennedy attempted to stop the flow of gold from the USA and to put control of our money back in the hands of government. No one looked at these economic forces in investigating his death. These reforms were the most radical and far reaching acts of his administration. They were abandoned immediately after his death.
    The book examines how war played a central role in creating the international monetary system in place today. One chapter looks at the evolution of central banks. These banks are almost always private institutions owned and run by bankers. These central banks take over the role of creating money. They determine the economic policy of nations. Our own central bank, the Federal Reserve, performs these duties in violation of our constitution.
    These are some of the issues the book addresses. For a more detailed account of the book see website

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