I spent several hours this past Sunday with "U.S. involvement" in the person of an interesting group called the Business Council for Peace. The council is a group of professional American women--consultants, bankers, lawyers and the like--who have organized to help women in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Indeed it turns out that there is a loose network mostly of professional women in the U.S. working hard on behalf of Afghan women. If Afghanistan doesn't fail, if it rises above the downer coverage it must carry on its back, it will be in no small part because of these U.S. women.
Gathered that Sunday morning in a conference room on the 29th floor of the Empire State Building were about 10 women from the Business Council for Peace and 13 women from Afghanistan, who arrived the previous evening. Standing at the window, with New York spread to the horizon, one Afghan woman announced that it looked "very new." The woman next to her captured it with a camcorder. The tourists, however, were standing outside on the sidewalk; these Afghan women were here on business.
The council, with support from more than 40 U.S. companies, had brought them here to spend three weeks learning how to run a small business and how to adapt traditional Afghan skills--embroidery, crocheting, silk work--to make products saleable in the U.S. market. Each woman had attended, or graduated from, college--mostly while living as refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. All had formed small businesses back home, often employing Afghanistan's many widows. On a visit to Afghanistan, the council had identified these 13 women as "fast runners," women with natural entrepreneurial instincts. A council CD-ROM, in which the women describe their lives, affirmed that these Afghans are indeed life's "fast runners."
Between now and June 10, they will receive instruction at the Fashion Institute of Technology and elsewhere in New York. When they go home, each woman will have a three-year mentor from the Business Council.
I'd like to see the so-called "feminists"--who hang around colleges and universities, attempting to indoctrinate young women into the next generation of Whiny Victims of the Male Conspiracy in America Club--do something useful, productive, and caring like the above. Too bad they are lost in a Marxist-Leninist (i.e., anticapitalistic) fog, and haven't been able to see clearly for several decades. Their silence (except for the sniping) on Afghanistan is deafening.
And besides, they are far too busy honing their hatred of President Bush to be bothered.