As much as I have been a vocal supporter of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, when I see that the elected government is proposing legislation to make wives the property of their husbands, I say no way. When we examine our long term goals for transforming a terrorist state into a peaceful Democracy, I strongly believe that gender equality is a fundamental prerequisite. Whatever influence we have in that country must be used to block this legislation. What separates the civilized world from the uncivilized? Gender equality. Those countries that treat women as property are far more likely to be the most violent, insane, and morally reprehensible. Be it in Africa or the Middle East, when women are oppressed, those countries tend to be more barbaric. When women have a strong voice in society, it adds nurture to the nature and tends to move the country in a more progressive and productive direction.
I have always believed since the beginning of this war on terrorism, that if we can export anything to the uncivilized world to make the planet Earth a better place for all of us to live, women’s rights would do far more good than Democracy. I love Democracy and I believe that it is the best form of government, but exporting gender equality should be the top priority of our missions abroad.