Hundreds of women lead protest in Afghanistan
Several hundred women, many holding aloft pictures of relatives killed by drug lords or Taliban militants, held a loud but nonviolent street protest today, demanding that President Hamid Karzai purge from his government anyone connected to corruption, war crimes or the Taliban.
“These women are being very brave,” said the protest leader, her face hidden by a burka. “To be a woman in Afghanistan and an activist can mean death. We want justice for our loved ones!”
Afghan police, in riot gear, monitored the rally as it worked its way slowly through muddy streets to the United Nations building here, but they did nothing to disrupt the event.
The unusual display of political activism by women comes as Karzai is under increasing pressure to remove from his cabinet anyone connected to rampant corruption, including links to the flourishing drug trade. His own finance minister says corruption is the biggest threat to the future of Afghanistan. [continued…]