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Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future Paperback – October 4, 2002


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Women for Afghan Women: Shattering Myths and Claiming the Future + What Kind of Liberation?: Women and the Occupation of Iraq + Confronting the International Patriarchy: Iran, Iraq and the United States of America (English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Hindi and Korean Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (October 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403960178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403960177
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In the past year, many books have been compiled to address Americans' general unawareness of Afghanistan and the plight of its people. This one covers that vacuum by telling the story of Afghan women through their own voices. Cofounder of the human rights group Women for Afghan Women and director of grants at the Sister Fund in New York City, Mehta has compiled essays from a wide variety of women, both Afghan (Sima Wali, Saira Shah) and American (Gloria Steinem, Angela King), who are active in human rights and have personal experiences in Afghanistan. This collection traces the history of Afghan women's rights and roles through the latter decades of the last century. Several essays delve into the respected role of women in the Muslim faith; others discuss the ramifications of the Soviet invasion and Taliban rule. The book concludes with essays on solutions for the future and reasons for hope. This particularly well-written, readable work provides timely insights and information about the people of Afghanistan and the faith of Islam. Recommended in addition to basic sources about the region.
Deborah Bigelow, Leonia P.L., NJ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A very valuable addition to the spate of recent works on Afghanistan."--B. Tavakolian, Choice

"...this excellent collection...provides both basic information for a newcomer...and sophisticated critiques...."--Amy Zalman, Women's Review of Books

“Over the last few months, many people have spoken on behalf of Afghan women; this book serves the invaluable function of allowing them to speak for themselves.” —Amitav Ghosh, author of The Glass Palace

“This stimulating collection gives a voice to women whose voices have been
shrouded in silence. To read the words of many of these remarkable women
is to understand the truth behind-and beyond-the burqa.” —Shashi Tharoor, author and Head of the Department of Public Information, United Nations

“The writing in this book gives testament to the brilliance, power and potential of the women of Afghanistan. These voices must be heard.” —Eve Ensler, author, The Vagina Monologues and Necessary Targets

“...some survival stories make history. In this regard, the women in Afghanistan and refugee Afghan women worked in the shadows to preserve their dignity. I commend the members of ‘Women for Afghan Women’ for this illuminating collection of essays.” —Asma Jahangir, Supreme Court of Pakistan; UN envoy

“...Women were responsible for mobilizing international public opinion against the Taliban and for rescuing Afghanistan.This book ensures that their story is told, that their struggle is not forgotten and that it continues as Afghan women try and rebuild their shattered lives and country.” —Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban

"In the past year, many books have been compiled to address Americans'
general unawareness of Afghanistan and the plight of its people. This one covers that vacuum by telling the story of Afghan women through their own voices...This particularly well-written, readable work provides timely insights and information about the people of Afghanistan and the faith of Islam. Recommended in addition to basic sources about the region."
-- Deborah Bigelow, Library Journal

...provide[s] an antidote to Western arrogance...attempt[s] to give a voice to the world's unheard women.
-Washington Post Book World

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
I bought this book and could not put it down!
N. Parikh
This book provides an excellent overview of the lives of Afghan women both in and outside of Afghanistan.
Jennifer Fluri
If the women in Afghanistan are not going to live free in the near future, every one of us is guilty!
Gaby Hoffmann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Benevides on January 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
i was kind of surprised to find that the overall rating for this book is a 5 star rating.

i thoroughly applaud all the contributors in the book for their statements and facts on afghanistan. i also applaud w.a.w., which also has a site on the web for anyone wanting to help further or read more. they are doing an immense job of bringing people the truth about afghanistan, and helping those in need. alongside rawa they are one of the groups in the u.s. who is making a big difference in the perceptions and misperceptions people have about afghanistan and the severity of life that people face there, in pakistan as well, particularly the women.

the book was rather slow-moving for me as it was many small accounts of what is wrong, what was right, and how to help. because i am already well-informed and helping in certain ways, i found it to be repetitive information. the reason i would recommend this book, is because the group is wonderful and people should be aware of who they are and what they are doing, and 2nd- if you are NOT well-informed about islam, afghanistan, and the history or politics involved in creating the current situation, then this will enlighten you in a simple and easy way as to what these people have gone through good and bad, and the hopes people have for the future. it offers things we in the u.s. need to do and should do in terms of assistance and support. it lets you read opinions and facts through a variety of sources, rather than one authors opinion throughout the entire book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who thinks Afghan women are a group of uneducated, oppressed, passive women, this book is a must read. Educated, thoughtful, and fiercely passionate Afghan women write in their own words what their struggles have been, and how they will overcome them.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Caryn Lawson on November 21, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently read this book and was most impressed by the honesty of many of the Afghan women, as well as the essays which clarified what the Q'uran says about women. As far as Islam goes, it is very important to make a distinction between theology and culture. Many of the things that that non-Muslims view as unacceptable (with respect to women)in the Muslim world are based on cultural practices not the Q'uran. Afghan women have been clear in this book in stating that although they want the support of women worldwide, that they must be the ones to determine the direction of the women's movement in Afghanistan. It is critical to the sucess of such a movement that it develop within a cultural and religious framework that is appropriate to them. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kabul from 1977-79 and hold both Afghanistan and it's people close to my heart. We must support their efforts toward rebuilding their country, but remember, it is their country!
Caryn Giles Lawson
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Fluri on October 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book provides an excellent overview of the lives of Afghan women both in and outside of Afghanistan. It is an important book to read because it illustrates (from the perspective of several women from different backgrounds and experiences) the essential role of women in the future of Afghanistan. The political and social activism of these women as well as their strength and overall commitment to human rights, which MUST include women, is nothing short of exceptional! This book also speaks to the diversity of the Afghan people and the misconceptions of women and Islam as well as the corruption of the Muslim religion by fundamentalists and many Americans who easily point to Islam as "the problem" without looking at the larger complexities of U.S. Afghan relations and the role the U.S. government has played in helping to create the devastation of Afghanistan under the Taliban and other fundamentalist regimes such as the Northern Alliance. This book provides a unique glimpse into the work of women outside the structure of governments and the importance of international feminist networks for collective action to provide assistance, security, education, and political agency to women in Afghanistan. Other activist projects can also learn much from these tremendous women. I cannot stress how important it is to read this book because as the title pronounces, it shatters the myths regarding the plight of Afghan women and provides THEIR PLAN FOR THEIR FUTURE! The women in this book need to be heard and understood, their voices are of paramount importance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Parikh on October 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book and could not put it down! It is truly riveting, emotional, informative, and very empowering! I think it's wonderful that the author provided a forum for all points of view and experiences to be shared - it really is a diverse collection of voices and stories. And finally - an opportunity to hear directly from Afghan women and those committed to their causes! A MUST buy for anyone passionate about women's issues, international human rights, and humanity in general!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This collection is very needed since it bridges constituencies and perspective which are often pitted against each other but in the end are allcommitted to one thing - the self-determination of Afghan women. Great photo essay as well.
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