Despite Promises and Spin, Afghan War Disastrous for Women

Pledged Aid Never Materialized

More than a few times the efforts to justify the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan has turned to claims of women’s rights, with commentaries on the reprehensible state under which woman live in the nation combining with promises for massive new foreign programs designed to improve their lot.

Always absent in these discussions was the fact that years and years of war hadn’t improved anything so far, and the pledges of even larger amounts of cash were always the focus.

But ten years in, maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan are still the worst on the planet, and the promises for aid never materialized. Indeed, Britain, which has emphasized the importances of “women’s health” in its reconstruction propaganda, has not allocated a single cent to it.

In reality another decade of war has only worsened Afghanistan’s health care system, which was already a laughingstock worldwide. A nation dependent on aid workers for a good portion of its health care was made, by the occupation, far too dangerous for those workers, and the claim that the war would somehow protect women or bring them into the 21st century is, like so many other excuses for this conflict, being revealed as a cynical lie that officials didn’t even attempt to follow through on.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of