This post is part of an ongoing series of reports on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and its impact on women by feminist author Phyllis Chesler.
They are selling their 3-year-old daughters for rice and bread that will only last the remaining family members for a month or two. They are selling their 9-year-old daughters too.
They are selling their very young daughters, not their sons, to fifty-five year old complete strangers, not to relatives. Not even to distant relatives who live several villages or provinces away. These fathers will probably never see their children again; never know whether they were beaten and sorely used as domestics, sold into sex slavery for a profit, or impregnated at nine and dead in childbirth by their tenth birthday.
This is happening right now in Afghanistan where there is neither money nor jobs to be had; where the endemic poverty is as bone-deep as the freezing weather, as dismal as the displacement camps in which such families now live.
The children, whether they are sold, indentured, or allowed to remain with their families, will soon suffer from severe malnutrition. According to the United Nations, “more than half the population is facing severe food insecurity.”
My little group continues to work on evacuations. Miraculously, we now have offers of planes and are filling them to capacity. However, we cannot scoop up every single Afghan female child and spirit her away to an Amazon boot camp/orphanage in order to strengthen her for her new and difficult life. (Not a bad idea but easier dreamt of than done).
The mainstream media has just begun to write about this. CNN and the BBC have stories. They have photos as well of the children about to be sold. I am not linking to them.
For once, I am also not calling for funds for planes, or for legal work, or even for direct expenses for those refugees who are now out of country but are still in a refugee camp or living on a very limited budget in a “stop over” location.
My colleague in the UK, Mandy Sanghera, has been tweeting about this. And now I join her as I call upon OXFAM, the World Food Bank, the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and the United Nations, to start food drops into Afghanistan. Doctors Without Borders, Magen David Adom, neighboring countries, too.
I call upon our readers to call and write these organizations and urge them to start dropping food packages into Afghanistan before too many people begin dying of hunger, before every last girl child has been sold.
United Nations World Food Program
World Food Bank
World Food Program USA
International Red Cross and Red Crescent
Magen David Adom
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