Afghan Women – passive in burkas?

Not exactly.  Jender’s report reminds us of how dire the oppression still is in Afghanistan.   But today I also discovered this story:

Approximately 500 Afghan women gathered in Kandahar to protest the kidnapping of an American aid worker, Cyd Mizell, and her driver, Abdul Hadi, the NY Times reports

In a strong show of support for Ms. Mizell, who has lived in Kandahar for six years, working on educational projects and women’s development, Afghan women’s associations called in speeches for officials, elders, ordinary citizens and young people to work for her release.

“This is against Islam, this is against Afghan culture, particularly against Kandahari custom, a woman’s abduction,” said the director of women’s affairs in Kandahar, Runa Tareen.

Soraya Barna, a member of the provincial council of Kandahar, said: “We are so sad and we want her to be released as soon as possible. We want officials and others to multiply their struggle to find her soon and hope she will be back safely.”

A welcome departure from the usual portrayal of Afghan women in the media!

Gender, Race and Philosophy: The Blog

The excellent online journal Symposia in Gender, Race and Philosophy has just started a blog. The journal consists of several symposia/year, in which one article is selected for discussion, and 4 symposiasts write commentaries on it, to which the original author then responds. There’s also a forum for online discussion of the symposia. The blog is a very new venture growing out of this, and allowing for a broader-based discussion. Here’s their description:

This blog was introduced as a companion to the Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy (SGRP): The SGRP provides opportunities for philosophers and other scholars to discuss current work on race and gender. Through the SGRP, we aim to make feminist philosophy and philosophy of race more visible to academic philosophers and others; to provide a forum for feminists and race theorists to respond rapidly to recent philosophical contributions to their fields; and to provide a forum for sustained and productive conversations between philosophers, feminists and race theorists. The blog provides a context for further discussion of the Symposia and for discussion of related issues. Our goal is to create a community of scholars working on gender and/or race in the context of philosophy. 

So far, there’s a very interesting post about Barack Obama by Robert Gooding-Williams. It argues, intriguingly, that Obama’s campaign is really to a large extent about promoting a new vision of deliberative democracy.