President  |  Vice President  |  First Lady  |  Mrs. Cheney  |  News & Policies 
History & ToursKids  |  Your Government  |  Appointments  |  JobsContactGraphic version

Email Updates  |  Español  |  Accessibility  |  Search  |  Privacy Policy  |  Help

The Taliban's War Against Women and Children
Now that the Taliban regime is in retreat across much of Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan, especially women, are rejoicing. Afghan women know, through hard experience, what the rest of the world is discovering: The brutal oppression of women is a central goal of the terrorists.

Laura Bush, Nov. 17 Radio Address
" We may come from different backgrounds and faiths - but parents the world over love our children. We respect our mothers, our sisters and daughters. Fighting brutality against women and children is not the expression of a specific culture; it is the acceptance of our common humanity - a commitment shared by people of good will on every continent."
Listen Read

Before the Taliban regime took power, Afghan women were protected by law, had important freedoms and were active participants in society:

In 1977, women comprised more than 15 percent of Afghanistan's highest legislative body;
By the early 1990s women comprised 70 percent of schoolteachers;
Women made up 50 percent of government workers; and
40 percent of doctors in Kabul were women. Then came the Taliban and their destruction of the family.

The Taliban quickly became one of the world's most brutal regimes and leading perpetrators of human rights abuses. The Taliban regime has especially targeted Afghan women and children, taking away their basic freedoms, splintering their families, putting their lives at risk, and relegating them to poverty. For example, the Taliban:

Forbid the schooling for girls over the age of eight;
Shut down the women's university;
Banned women from working (stripping a society in desperate need of trained professionals of half its assets);
Restricted access to medical care for women;
Brutally enforced a restrictive dress code; Forbade women from moving about their communities freely.
Beat women for laughing out loud.

Islam has a tradition of protecting the rights of women and children, and supporting the family. Muslims around the world have condemned the brutal degradation of women and children by the Taliban regime. The poverty, poor health, and illiteracy that the terrorists and the Taliban have imposed on women in Afghanistan do not conform with the treatment of women in most of the Islamic world, where women make important contributions in their societies.

State Department Report on Women and Girls in Afghanistan

The Administration supports a broadly-based and representative post-Taliban government that protects its citizens and preserves basic human rights for women and children.




Laura Bush reads her Radio Address from Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. Mrs. Bush is the first First Lady to deliver an entire Presidential Radio Address.

America's Fund for Afghan Children
President Bush asks American children to help Afghan children by contributing one dollar (cash, check or money order) individually or collectively to:

    America's Fund for Afghan Children
    c/o The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Washington, DC 20509-1600

America's Youth Respond to Afghan Children's Fund

President Asks American Children to Help Afghan Children Listen

President Establishes "America's Fund for Afghan Children
President Holds Prime Time News Conference Listen

The Humanitarian Crisis in Central Asia
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance

Fact Sheet about Afghan Children
More than 10 million children in Afghanistan have suffered under years of civil war and drought and now suffer under the repressive Taliban regime:

One in four Afghan children will not make it to their fifth birthday.

Afghanistan ranks number one worldwide in maternal mortality.

One in three Afghan children is an orphan.

Almost 1/2 of Afghan children suffer chronic malnutrition.

Millions face the threat of starvation.

Even before September 11, the U.S. was the largest humanitarian donor to the people of Afghanistan.

Since September 11 the U.S. has dropped more than 1.5 million meals into Afghanistan.

With U.S. support, the World Food Program is exceeding its objectives for food deliveries to the Afghan people. With U.S. support, the World Food Program has increased its daily food delivery in Afghanistan from 200 tons daily to 2,400 tons daily.


President's Biography   |   President's Cabinet   |   Oval Office History   |   Past Presidents   |   Photo Essays   |   Photo Essay Index State of the Union   |   Issues Budget Management Education Energy Health Care Homeland Security Hurricane Recovery Immigration Jobs & Economy Medicare National Security Pandemic Flu Patriot Act Renewal in Iraq Social Security More Issues »   |   News & Features   |   Current News   |   Kids Only   |   Photo Essays