Women Risking Their Lives for Education

Essay by sherringaCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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May 2004 issue of Marie Clair published an article by Eve Ensler entitled "Women Risking Their Lives For Education". The article reports the results of interviews with women from Afghanistan, members of a secret organization of women who risk death to give other women education and hope. Eve Ensler took a harrowing undercover journey to chronicle their fight against the Taliban, one of the most repressive regimes in history.

The Taliban forbids women to attend school, work outside the home, laugh loudly, perform or listen to music, leave home with a male relative, use cosmetics, visit male doctors, go outside without wearing a floor-length veil called a burqa,wear high-heeled shoes, or watch movies,TV,or videos. If a woman breaks these laws she risks being flogged or killed.

Freshnet, an undercover reporter, reportes for the newsletter and website of RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, risks her life to document the atrocities of the Taliban, the fundamentalist Muslim regime that controls her home country.

Freshet has reported much abuse and deaths of the Taliban women. She reports that RAWA's founder, a poet and activist named Meena Keshwar Kamal, formed the group in 1977 in hopes of gaining equal rights for Taliban women. In 1979, tribal groups known as Jihadi, mounted armed opposition and killed Meena. After her death, RAWA members determined to complete what their leader had begun. The group now is directed by a rotating council of 12 women. The group meets every 3 months. The leaders decide where they will next convene telling no one of their plans.

RAWA classes are held in homes with 35 small classes teaching Math and Reading. Students arrive at different times, one by one. If someone knocks on the door, they hide the blackboard. The students have so much...