Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lana Šlezić: The Hidden Half

Image Copyright © Lana Šlezić-All Rights Reserved (Courtesy Mother Jones)

Mother Jones magazine brings us a visually compelling photo essay by Canadian photojournalist Lana Šlezić, who crisscrossed Afghanistan—from Mazar-e-Sharif in the north to Kandahar in the south—to document the plight of Afghan women since the fall of the Taliban. Six years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the burka is more common than before, an "overwhelming majority" of Afghan women suffer domestic violence, according to aid group Womankind, and honor killings are on the rise. Health care is so threadbare that every 28 minutes a mother dies in childbirth—the secondhighest maternal mortality rate in the world. Girls attend school at half the rate boys do, and in 2006 at least 40 teachers were killed by the Taliban.

Some of the photographs are disturbing, and while I have no doubt that the treatment of women in Afghanistan is appalling, is it really that pervasive and what is the Karzai government doing about it? Probably nothing.

Lana Šlezić The Hidden Half

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