Roll On: The Plight Of Women In Afghanistan
It’s time to grapple with the human rights issues ensuing in Afghanistan.
To guide us in this important conversation are podcast alums Drs. Ayesha & Dean Sherzai.
For those new to the show, ‘Roll On’ is typically our opportunity to shift focus from my traditional fare of evergreen conversations to instead hone in on matters of contemporaneous, time-sensitive interest.
Today we do just that, but with a twist, spending the entire episode grappling with the very grave plight faced by the 18 million women in Afghanistan in the wake of the United States departure. Breaking down the grip of Taliban rule, this is an exploration and round table discussion led by Team Sherzai.
Experts on brain health, Alzheimer’s, and neurodegenerative diseases, Drs. Sherzai have twice graced this show for deep dives on maintaining and optimizing cognitive function. But what most don’t know is that Dean & Ayesha have considerable experience with Afghanistan.
In 2003 Dean was appointed the Deputy Minister of Health by President Karzai, creating the most successful post-conflict healthcare system with women’s empowerment at its core. Ayesha founded the Social Welfare Society for Afghan Refugees in medical school, volunteered with Doctors Without Borders’ in Afghanistan during her medical training, and co-founded the Afghan Health Initiative in order to empower the Afghan diaspora with their own health.
My intention for this conversation is less political—we aren’t here to necessarily debate the political advisability of the U.S. withdrawal as much as the incomprehensibly botched manner in which we withdrew—and the downstream human rights implications of Afghan women in particular.
Other specific topics discussed include:
- The history of women’s rights in Afghanistan;
- using healthcare as a catalyst for women’s empowerment;
- a breakdown of the imperative of the Taliban and how it functions;
- the role that fear plays in female oppression;
- what we can be done now to aid Afghan women; and
- how to support celebrated female artists, scientists, politicians & leaders in Afghanistan.
This is an important, pertinent, and heavy conversation. My heart goes out to those suffering. If possible, I highly encourage you to donate to programs like Restore Her Voice. Any amount can make a difference.
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- New York Times: Threats and Fear Cause Afghan Women’s Protections to Vanish Overnight
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- New York Times: The U.S. War in Afghanistan: How It Started, and How It Ended
- The Atlantic: The Taliban’s Return Is Catastrophic For Women
- The Washington Post: An Afghan politician spent her life working for women’s rights. She barely made it out of the country.
- The Guardian: Evidence contradicts Taliban’s claim to respect women’s rights
- CNN: The Taliban said women wouldn’t face discrimination. They already are
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- NPR: What It’s Like To Be A Woman Reporting On The Taliban: ‘They Don’t Look At You’
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- CNN: Young Afghan artist creates haunting image of her homeland’s fall to the Taliban
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