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Hello fellow feminists - I am a 15-year-old Afghan female who is concerned about the persecution of the female population in my country. I want to know if I can do anything, or if there is something being done to help the problem that I can take part of. If not, I would like to get something started that will call attention to this injustice in my community. Thank you for your time and I hope you will help me bring public attention to this issue - Julie

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. Your note arrived right in the midst of at least a dozen others from specifically younger women who were asking how they can help with the situation for women and girls in Afghanistan. So, you are certainly not alone in wanting to change this situation. I'm assuming that although you are Afghan, you are currently residing somewhere else.

In terms of what to do--in this country, the organization doing the most work around attempting to end the gender based discrimination going on as a result of the Taliban's rule--is the Feminist Majority Foundation. It seems that the two things that get promoted as what to do--are 1.) to sign petitions and 2.) to put pressure on the U.S. Department of State to do more intense interventions. So, you should certainly do these things -- (You can contact the Feminist Majority at: www.feminist.org and I'm sure the state department has a website, thought I don't know what it is--try their women's office.)

Most importantly--and based on something that you said in your note--I think that you ought to try to use this situation to shed light on issues that might be affecting your own community. Though it's unlikely that the situation is as grave as it is currently in Afghanistan--it is likely that in your community there is some level of gender discrimination going on. For instance, at your school--do the girls' sports teams get the same attention (and money and playing time) as the boys; does the local newspaper cast women's issues as "secondary"--for instance, do they even cover what is happening in Afghanistan? Yet, they certainly cover the Yankees and the Mets. Hopefully, this will triger your mind.

Thanks again for writing and for your concern. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance -- good luck.


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