Over the next year, America will mark with parades and exhibitions the centennial of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote.
By coincidence, the women of Afghanistan this fall enter their 19th year liberated from the Taliban, whose despotic version of Islam brutally relegated them to specters in their own land. Women risked flogging, or worse, for failing to wear full-body, tent-like burqas in public or walking the streets unaccompanied by a male relative. They were barred from school, work, accessing health care and participating in politics or public speaking.
In addition to the suppression of women, the Taliban's depredations included the destruction of priceless antiquities and the harboring of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror organization. After the 9/11 attacks launched from Afghan soil, a U.S.-led coalition drove the Taliban from power within a few months. The Constitution of Afghanistan adopted in 2004 grants men and women equal rights, bars discrimination and requires a "balanced education for women."
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