”The Afghan government has the responsibility of protecting women from violence, committed not only by the state but also by private individuals and groups,” Amnesty said in a statement issued after sifting reports of Amina’s stoning to death.

Amnesty, citing eyewitnesses, said Amina’s husband and local officials dragged her out of her parents’ house before stoning her to death in public. The man accused of committing adultery with her reportedly was whipped one hundred times and freed.

If Iraq has been the disaster zone of Bush foreign policy, Afghanistan is still generally thought of as its success story — to the extent that anyone in our part of the world thinks about that country at all any more. Before the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan experienced a relative flood of American attention. It was, after all, the liberation moment. Possibly the most regressive and repressive regime on Earth had just bitten the dust. The first blow had been struck against the 9/11 attackers. The media rushed in — and they were in a celebratory mood.

Media in the United States have greatly exaggerated any victories for women’s rights, and downplayed the conditions of warlordism, oppression and poverty that still flourish. In a recent trip to Afghanistan, Co-Directors of the Afghan Women’s Mission, Sonali Kolhatkar and James Ingalls found that the situation of women and girls was extremely dire and that little had changed since the fall of the Taliban.

Read our report. Download a flyer.
AWM Interview on independent media, Democracy Now!

Click here if you are a member of the media and are interested in an interview.

In the past two years the US media have drastically reduced their coverage of Afghanistan. According to the American Journalism Review only three news organizations–Newsweek, Associated Press and The Washington Post–have full-time reporters stationed in Kabul. What little is published focuses mostly on feel-good stories, superficial change and unopposed reportage of the Bush administration’s claims.

When I was in Afghanistan, I noticed that in Kabul, certainly schools were open, women were walking around fairly openly with not as much fear. Outside of Kabul, where 80% of Afghans reside, totally different situation. There are no schools. I visited the Farah province, which is a very isolated, remote province in western Afghanistan and there were no schools except for the one school that Afghan Women’s Mission is funding that is administered by our allies, the members of RAWA.