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Links 1 through 5 of 5 by Latoya Peterson tagged afghanistan

"Both Afghan and international news media had initially played down or ignored the actions of Mr. Jones, the Florida pastor. On Thursday, however, President Karzai made a speech and issued statements condemning the Koran burning and calling for the arrest of Mr. Jones for his actions. On Friday, that theme was picked up in mosques throughout Afghanistan."

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"Afghan families have many reasons for pretending their girls are boys, including economic need, social pressure to have sons, and in some cases, a superstition that doing so can lead to the birth of a real boy. Lacking a son, the parents decide to make one up, usually by cutting the hair of a daughter and dressing her in typical Afghan men’s clothing. There are no specific legal or religious proscriptions against the practice. In most cases, a return to womanhood takes place when the child enters puberty. The parents almost always make that decision."

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"I have been stewing over the implications of TIME’s decision to run the face of a mutilated Afghani woman on the cover of the magazine to raise awareness about women’s rights in Afghanistan. Many have applauded TIME’s decision to do this calling it courageous and effective, all while recognizing this is also a cheap plea for magazine sales. I am taking issue specifically with the use of the image on the cover, not the article itself which was not available online in its entirety (but trust I will steal my dad’s copy of TIME asap). My inquiry is two fold: first, the assumption that military presence in Afghanistan has made women’s rights better is a complicated one that shouldn’t be taken for granted and the second is, using the faces and bodies of women to make a generalization is objectifying. It is rare that women’s bodies have been used to understand their voices, especially when discussing the “other.” Instead they are often used to create mystique and reify colonial fantasy."

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"We really ask a lot of our young service people out on the checkpoints because there's danger, they're asked to make very rapid decisions in often very unclear situations. However, to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I've been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it."

He continued: "That doesn't mean I'm criticizing the people who are executing. I'm just giving you perspective. We've shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force."

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Some mullahs in Afghanistan are distributing condoms. Others are quoting the Quran to encourage longer breaks between births. Health experts say contraception is starting to catch on in a country with the world's second highest maternal death rate. Afghanistan has one of the world's highest fertility rates, averaging more than six babies per woman despite years of war and a severe lack of medical care. Awareness of, and access to, contraceptives remains low among many couples, with UNICEF estimating 10 percent of women using some form of birth control. But use of the pill, condoms and injected forms of birth control rose to 27 percent over eight months in three rural areas - up to half the woman in one area - once the benefits were explained one-on-one by health workers, according to the report published Monday in Bulletin, the World Health Organization's journal.

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