Articles

Defense One: Gen. Allen: It’s Time Obama Commits To Staying in Afghanistan

Now that this weekend’s seeming successful and fairly peaceful presidential vote is over, the Obama administration quickly should make a public vow to keep United States troops beyond the end of the year, a former top U.S. war commander said Sunday. Ret. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, who led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan from July 2011 to February 2013 told Defense One that the vote presidential vote …

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Defense One: After Afghan Election, Debate Over Post-2014 Troops Continues

As Afghans head to the polls Saturday to elect their next president, those in Washington still pushing for a lasting United States commitment to the country are hoping fervently that things go well – or at least well enough – to keep both the Obama administration and the American public on board. Lately, the narrative in the U.S. around the …

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Defense One: Iraq’s Do-Nothing Legacy

Eleven years have now passed since United States armed forces invaded Iraq and pushed Saddam Hussein from power. But the political reverberations of the 2003 military intervention continue to be felt. And they have only grown stronger with the distance of time. The 2003 invasion now looms over every decision to act – or not act – America takes. More …

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Defense One: Obama’s Foreign Policy Reality Check

President Barack Obama came to Washington in 2008 pledging to end the Iraq war and refocus on Afghanistan, the “war we have to win.” The idea was to settle the fights America already was involved in and to be certain not to embark upon new ones. Despite approving a troop surge in Afghanistan, Obama made clear that his presidency was …

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Defense One: For Obama, Few Options in Syria

Once again, with some renewed urgency, White House officials have asked the administration’s Syria policy team to return to the menu of limited and lousy options available in Syria. Syria’s war has grown bloodier since the United States chose not to launch military strikes last summer in favor of a deal to get chemical weapons out of the hands of …

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Defense One: Military Force vs. Diplomacy: Can You Have One Without the Other?

At Tuesday’s State of the Union President Barack Obama promised the American people that the era of large-scale military interventions is over. Diplomacy is now the order of the day. “I strongly believe our leadership and our security cannot depend on our outstanding military alone,” the president said. “In a world of complex threats, our security, our leadership depends on …

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Defense One: Why It Matters that Gates Questions Obama’s Will in Afghanistan

The new memoir by Defense Secretary Robert Gates reminds me of a meeting in New York in late 2010, where I crossed paths with an Obama administration State Department official who was then working on the Afghanistan strategy review. At the time, stories of administration infighting and competing agendas regarding the war’s future were swirling. “You have a messaging problem on …

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CNN: Syria’s children suffer, and the world just shrugs.

(CNN) – The world has devoted a great deal of diplomatic energy to securing Syria’s chemical weapons. It has yet to do the same for securing Syria’s children. Their future is as important for international security and stability, even if the consequences of inaction will take far longer to be seen and felt. The war in Syria between the government of …

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Huffington Post: Banking on Entrepreneurs: Why an American Development Bank Makes Investment Sense.

I recently wrote a memo titled “Banking on Growth: U.S. Support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Least-Developed Countries.” The idea behind it is that it is in America’s interest to get the most from its development dollars and that one of the smartest ways to do this is to invest in small and medium businesses in the world’s …

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CNN: Honor Mandela, help Syria’s refugees

CNN) – America has endured the exhaustion of a decade of war and the insult of a battered economy. Now many Americans reject all foreign entanglements as expensive, fruitless and, ultimately, futile. In a recent Pew Research poll, 80% of those answering agreed with the statement, “We should not think so much in international terms but concentrate more on our own national …

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Defense One: Obama’s Syria Policy in Disarray, Is Counterterrorism Next?

What Syria policy America had is now in disarray. The United States and Britain put a pause on deliveries of nonlethal aid to Syrian moderate opposition forces in the country’s north after rival fighters known as the Islamic Front took over opposition offices. Gen. Salim Idris, leader of the military arm of the moderate opponents to the regime of Syrian President …

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Defense One:A Return to Stoning Won’t Help the Effort to Rebrand Afghanistan

Even as a group of diplomats and advocates tries to shift the storyline on Afghanistan to focus on the gains the country has logged this past decade, a blast from the country’s brutal past has resurfaced to further complicate already difficult US-Afghan relations: Stoning may once again become the law. “It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of …

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Fast Company: Arab Women’s Tech Advantage

MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES SENT TWO ALL-FEMALE TEAMS TO MICROSOFT’S IMAGINE CUP THIS YEAR. THAT’S NOT AS SURPRISING AS IT SOUNDS. Asya AlJabri’s first steps toward app building started with dyslexia: not her own, but her 9-year-old cousin’s. AlJabri was trying to teach him the alphabet, but he wasn’t learning, and she kept scolding him for not paying attention. “I won’t …

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CNN: Child brides robbed of their future

One year ago, Taliban gunmen in Pakistan boarded a school van and shot Malala Yousafzai, then 15, for speaking out for girls’ education. Malala survived the tragedy, and her courageous story of a teenage girl who would not be silenced inspired tens of millions more in the fight for girls’ rights. As Malala said in July during her historic address …

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Defense One: Shutdown Creates Training ‘Gap’ for Afghanistan-Bound Troops

From the start of the shutdown, the Pay Our Military Act aimed to keep crucial, war-related functions on track while Washington rolled off the rails. But more than a week in, United States troops heading into the Afghanistan war now bear the brunt of the stalemate. The Oregon National Guard has delayed the start of training for its 1,000-plus members …

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Defense One: Shutdown Shame: Denying Troop Death Benefits

Call it a promise placed on hold. On Saturday, a U.S. Marine was killed in Helmand province. On Sunday, four troops were killed by an IED in southern Afghanistan. Until the shutdown ends, none of their families can expect to receive the “death gratuity” of $100,000 promised to immediately reach them within 24 to 36 hours. Grieving families also cannot …

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The Atlantic: Washington vs. D.C.: How the Shutdown Pits the Government Against Its City

For the people who make the government run on a daily basis, whether government paychecks arrive is not a public-policy question but a personal solvency one.Official “Washington” is wrestling with how long the government will stay closed. But for “D.C.” and the less-well manicured suburban neighborhoods far from K Street and TV stand-up locations, life will continue regardless, as government …

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Foreign Policy: The ‘Go Slow’ Caucus -

For all the recent discussion in Washington about how to proceed in Syria, the sense remains that the United States is not yet ready for an entirely new, more aggressive direction on the two-year-old conflict that has claimed at least 70,000 lives and created at least 1.4 million refugees. But with Turkey now asserting that Syria has used chemical weapons — adding weight to the claims from Britain, France, Qatar, and the United States — and with the conflict growing bloodier and more complicated each day, the Obama administration faces greater pressure to deepen its involvement on the political, humanitarian, and military fronts.

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CNN:Getting on With Life After Terror Hits

On the same day terrorists took lives in Boston, Secretary of State John Kerry talked in Tokyo about another young life extinguished by an explosive device, Foreign Service Officer Anne Smedinghoff. “A 25-year-old young woman, full of idealism, full of hopes, taking books to children in a school so they can learn, and wiped out by terrorism, by the worst …

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Foreign Policy: The Washington Intervention War

Immediately after Susan Rice was named U.S. national security advisor and Samantha Power was tapped as America’s next ambassador to the United Nations, Washington had a simple question: Could the Obama administration’s two newest liberal hawks mold U.S. foreign policy? And will the exit of current National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, the architect of President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” …

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Fast Company: Giving And Relieving: How GiveDirectly Cuts Out The Middleman

In one of the many feature-less buildings that comprise Google’s sprawling Mountain View campus, Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus, two directors of the charity GiveDirectly, are being told to dream bigger. “Think of yourselves as a billion-dollar organization influencing the big funders like USAID and the World Bank,” Jacquelline Fuller, Google Giving’s director, tells the pair. “This is a way …

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Foreign Policy: Kerry’s Syrian Quagmire

As the secretary of state tries to get the rebels and the regime to the negotiating table, a State Department official says it would take “sarin gas being lobbed at Tel Aviv” for Washington to take military action. Even as Secretary of State John Kerry pushes for all parties in the Syrian civil war to gather around a table in …

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The Atlantic: Worrying Signs Afghan Women’s Rights Will Slip After U.S. Departure

A law to protect women failed to pass parliament this weekend, sparking fears that the country’s conservative forces want to roll back the clock on gender. In 2009, Afghan President Hamid Karzai used his powers of presidential decree to put a law to protect women on the books. This weekend the measure failed to gain parliamentary approval, raising once more …

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The Atlantic: Suddenly, Sheryl Sandberg’s Critics Care About Working-Class Women

Influential news outlets generally ignore the needs of struggling families. In an editorial meeting during this last recession’s crest I pitched a story about double coupons and their popularity among single moms battling to stay economically afloat. A blank stare on the faces of everyone in the room greeted me. “Oh, that is so interesting,” one of the reporters seated …

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The Atlantic: Sheryl Sandberg’s Radically Realistic ‘And’ Solution for Working Mothers

The Facebook COO’s new book Lean In encourages mothers with careers to opt out of the parent-or-careerwoman binary and firmly choose both. At a wedding this summer, while I was eight months pregnant with twins, an older gentleman sitting next to me asked me whether I still worked in finance. No, I told him, at the moment I was focused …

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Huffington Post: Entrepreneurship: One Answer to Poverty

In his State of the Union address President Barack Obama placed a spotlight on global poverty and the 1.2 billion people on the planet who stay alive on around $1 per day. “Progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all,” the president said. So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme …

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The Daily Beast: End of Combat Ban Means Women Finally Fully Integrated Into Military

The Pentagon’s decision to allow women in combat elates female veterans, who say all they are asking for is not guaranteed spots, but a chance to meet the same standards and have the same opportunities as men. The combat ban that kept hundreds of thousands of military jobs out of reach for women will now become one more history relic, …

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Reuters: New Afghan War over U.S. troop levels

The stubborn war in Afghanistan, which has spanned a decade and cost more than 2,000 American lives, has now faded to one key question: How many U.S. troops will remain after 2014? This is the issue that will likely occupy President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai when they meet at the White House on Friday. Officials are already …

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CNN: Malala, Others on Front Lines in Fight for Women

The girl the Taliban wanted dead has not only survived but was able to walk out of the hospital last week. But other highly publicized, vicious attacks on women and girls have not had such triumphant outcomes. Malala Yousafzai’s ordeal is not over yet: Doctors say the 15-year-old campaigner for girls’ education, whom gunmen shot in the head as she …

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The Daily Beast: ACLU Suit: Allowing Women in Combat Is About Equality and Recognition

Four female veterans who filed a lawsuit with the ACLU say combat exclusion is unfair and outdated, based on stereotypes, inhibits recognition and promotion of servicewomen—and ignores the realities of the modern battlefield. Women have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq for the past decade, serving in a slew of military roles on a murky battlefield that knows no formal …

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Reuters/The Great Debate: Why ‘peace’ was catchphrase in presidential debate

Foreign policy attempted to take center stage at the presidential debate Monday evening but failed resoundingly. For the candidates agreed to agree on a number of key issues — the timeline for ending America’s longest war, support for Israel, and the importance of diplomacy and sanctions in Iran. Nation-building at home trumped nation-building abroad, and small business won as many …

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Fast Company: In The Heart Of Afghanistan, Entrepreneurs Innovate For Peace

Impossibly optimistic and totally obsessed, Afghanistan’s aspiring tech moguls believe that computing will not only help make them money but also secure peace in their land. In 2010, Ahmad Reza Zahedi started a website design business called TechSharks. It was the realization of a longtime dream for Zahedi, 30, a modest, soft-spoken man who sports a short ponytail and who, …

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Foreign Policy: Pin the war on your opponent

In a remarkable act of ‘pin the war on your opponent’ Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening worked to portray Paul Ryan as the candidate most in favor of continuing the unpopular fight in Afghanistan, a conflict President Barack Obama once called the “war that has to be won” and to which he added 33,000 American soldiers. Biden said …

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CNN, Amanpour Blog: The Malalas you’ll never meet

Editor’s Note: Gayle Lemmon, author of the New York Times best-seller The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. The views expressed are solely those of the author. The attempted assassination in Pakistan of fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai by Taliban shooters is only the latest and most brazen attack on leaders brave enough to defy …

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Politico: Don’t look now: Foreign policy cliff looms, too

By now it is no secret that the coming fiscal cliff looms large in the nation’s economic future and the presidential election that will help to shape it. What is less obvious is that whoever wins the White House faces a set of cliffhanging foreign policy challenges — a series of tests that will confront him immediately and could bear …

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Politico: Mitt Romney opens the foreign policy debate

Upheaval in the Middle East has blasted through this most domestic of presidential campaigns. And GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s activist foreign policy views — for months ignored by the campaign’s economy-focused spotlight — now sit front and center in a political to-and-fro launched by his campaign over the deadly attacks in Libya and Egypt. In Romney’s view, the United …

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The Atlantic: ‘This Guy Hates Us’: Why Wall Street Turned Against Obama

Plenty of financiers supported the president in 2008, but investors I spoke with have decided that the man who rescued the economy isn’t the right one to lead its recovery The financial services community swooned for President Obama four years ago and opened its collective wallet to offer him more than $16 million in campaign cash. This cycle its well-heeled …

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Politico: Clint Eastwood at least said ‘Afghanistan’

Ann Romney rightly noted in a TV interview Friday morning that Clint Eastwood did a “unique thing” Thursday at the Republican National Convention in offering the nation his extended riff with an empty chair. But it was not just Eastwood’s form that was unique. He was also among the only convention speakers to mention the name of the country now …

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Politico: Ryan’s muscle-flexing foreign policy

Members of President Barack Obama’s campaign team pressed the charge across the media this weekend that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the new GOP vice presidential candidate, has no foreign policy experience. But conservatives, still smarting from last week’s appointment of former World Bank President Bob Zoellick to lead Gov. Mitt Romney’s transition on national security, say they are delighted — …

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The Atlantic: Stop Worrying About Yahoo’s Pregnant CEO!

In the summer of 2010, I felt nauseated during nearly every interview I conducted while wrapping up research for my first book. Because it was summer in Afghanistan, and Kabul is home to open sewers and steamy heat, I thought little of it, until I told my friend and housemate, a TIME reporter with a three-month-old baby, that all I …

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The Atlantic: America’s Silent Crisis: The Plight of the Single (Working!) Mother

Single mothers are raising more of America’s children than ever before. And for many of them, the economic precipice is creeping closer and closer. For decades the number of single-parent families has climbed higher, with the overwhelming majority of these households led by women. In 1960, just 5 million children under 18 lived with only their mother. By 1980 that …

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The Daily Beast: Taliban Execution of Afghan Woman Causes Outraged Activists to Mobilize

Women’s rights activists marched in Kabul to protest the videotaped execution of a young woman, apparently by the Taliban. Protesters say the killing shows the Taliban has not changed—and is a harbinger of what’s to come if they return to power. In a grainy video that shocked viewers around the world, a young woman named Najiba shrouded in a gray …

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The Atlantic: We Need to Tell Girls They Can Have It All (Even If They Can’t)

The most important problem isn’t that some women at the top struggle to have both an elite career and a fulfilling family life — but rather that many women are scared to be ambitious In my first year at Harvard business school we studied that rarest of breeds: a female protagonist of a case study. In this case it was …

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Harvard Business Review: Promoting Entrepreneurship in Vulnerable Economies

In a global, hyper-connected economy, where security failures in one corner of the world can lead to an economic catastrophe on the other side of the world, it’s in everyone’s best interest to promote greater security and prosperity everywhere. Especially in the world’s most fragile states, economic development is critical to stability, as I argued in a recent paper for …

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Foreign Policy: It’s the economy…Even in Afghanistan

Americans are not alone in worrying that their economic futures are headed in the wrong direction. Afghans, too, fear that the next several years will bring a business tailspin that will see recent gains eked out by small and medium companies dissolve amid security woes and a sharp pullback in international largesse and, of course, foreign forces. The “light of …

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The Daily Beast: Marie Tillman, Widow of Pat, on Her New Book & How She Found Peace

Pat Tillman’s sweetheart battled rage and pain after he was killed in Afghanistan—and the Army lied about his death. Now she’s going public with her private story, writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. Losing a husband is tragic. Becoming one of America’s highest-profile widows before the age of 30, learning that the Army lied about his death, and enduring congressional hearings to …

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The Atlantic: ‘I’m Not Your Wife!’ A New Study Points to a Hidden Form of Sexism

Men may be subconsciously looking at women through the lenses of their own marriages. On a flight years ago from Washington, D.C., to South Carolina to cover the 2000 presidential primary, a clean-cut gentleman with a suit but no tie interrupted my reading of the New York Times to ask a question. “Are you reading that paper?” he asked, as …

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Politico: Single moms Obama’s X-factor?

President Barack Obama has recently devoted a lot of time to firing up the “X” factor and wooing women voters. He “grew up as the son of a single mom,” Obama reminded Barnard graduates during his commencement address at the women’s college, “who struggled to put herself through school and make ends meet.” His team surely knows that if single …

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CNN: Afghan school poisonings an omen?

Afghan schoolgirls sit in the spotlight as their classrooms face alleged poison attacks in the north and threats from insurgents in the south. Questions surround the shadowy incidents, which come at a fragile time in the country’s transition. And in many ways, as goes girls’ education, so goes the country’s procession toward progress. “Instead of increasing the enrollment of girls …

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The Atlantic: In Praise of Single Mothers

Politicians have accused them of destroying “the fabric of this country.” In fact, as one daughter attests, their powerful example is holding society together. A lot has been said about single mothers. Most of it has been less than flattering. In a notable nugget Senator Rick Santorum said at a town hall meeting, “We are seeing the fabric of this …

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Foreign Affairs: What Leaving Afghanistan Will Cost

Parsing the President’s War Promises If there is to be a viable way forward in Afghanistan — one that can reconcile on-the-ground developments with American timelines for withdrawal — Washington has to start talking about tradeoffs. Both President Barack Obama and U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker have publicly assured Afghans that the United States will not repeat the mistakes …

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Foreign Policy: Washington’s war for Afghanistan’s women

As Sunday’s spectacular attack in Kabul showed, the war in Afghanistan may be winding down in Washington, but it is heating up on the ground with spring’s arrival. And in Foggy Bottom and, to a lesser degree, on Capitol Hill, a battle is on for American hearts and minds even as calls for immediate withdrawal grow louder. The objective: to …

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Harvard Business Review: Global Entrepreneurs Need New Funding Models

Entrepreneurship seems to have become the silver bullet for a job-scarce, unemployment-saddled global economy still struggling to shake off recession. Around the world, leaders talk about how start-ups can create new jobs and lift regions out of poverty. But many entrepreneurs — particularly those in the world’s toughest economies — are still battling to secure the cash they need to …

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CNN: U.S. must not abandon Afghan women to the Taliban

Editor’s note: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a fellow and deputy director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council of Foreign Relations. She writes extensively about women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Rwanda. She wrote “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana,” a book that tells the story of an Afghan girl whose business created …

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Foreign Policy: Racing for the exits

More Afghans are seeking asylum now than at any time since war in Afghanistan began, figures from the United Nations show. Last year more than 30,000 Afghans sought asylum worldwide, topping 2010′s numbers by 25 percent – and those are just the recorded cases. More than 45,000 Afghans are said to have illegally escaped into Greece alone. Australia is another …

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The Atlantic: How My Mother Beat the Public School System

Long before school choice, here’s how one woman in a downtrodden district managed to get a good education for her child. My mother was ahead of her time. Years before school choice become the hot-throttled issue it is now, back in the days of Dallas, Falcon Crest, and ketchup as a school lunch vegetable, my mother created her own school …

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The Daily Beast: Sahar Gul Torture Case Shows Limited Rights, Perilous Lives of Afghan Wome

The media have flocked to report the shocking torture of Sahar Gul for refusing to become a prostitute, but her case is just one example of widespread violence against women in Afghanistan, which mostly goes unreported and unpunished. – Gayle Tzemach Lemmon Sahar Gul wants justice. Images of the 15-year-old girl tortured for months by her husband and his family …

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CNN.com: Angelina Jolie’s film bears witness to rape in war

Editor’s note: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a fellow and deputy director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council of Foreign Relations. She writes extensively about women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict zones, including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Rwanda. She wrote “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana,” a book that tells the story of an Afghan girl whose business created …

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The Daily Beast: In Afghanistan, Furious Reaction to Biden’s Newsweek Comments

Reverberations from Joe Biden’s Newsweek interview continue to spread. As Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports, Afghans are livid at the vice president—and the U.S. In Afghanistan headlines screamed Vice President Joe Biden’s comments to Newsweek that “the Taliban per se is not our enemy.” “We are in a position where if Afghanistan ceased and desisted from being a haven for people …

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The Daily Beast: North Indian ‘Apni Beti’ Program Strikes a Blow Against Child Marriage

  In northern India, where one in two girls is wed before the age of 18, the rate of child marriage is dropping—and an innovative program is paying girls to stay unmarried. In a cement-walled room at the end of a rutted road in the rural Indian district of Bhiwani, a teenage girl named Lado sits in a shaft of …

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Foreign Policy: Afghan women are not “pet rocks”

Afghan women have long fought for a say in their country’s future, but that fight has grown more urgent in the run-up to the Bonn Conference, a gathering charged with laying out a plan for Afghanistan for 2014 and beyond. So far, women’s battle to win a substantive role at Bonn – and any other peace talks that may come …

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Newsweek: Princess Tweets for Saudi Women: Ameerah Al-Taweel

In an exclusive interview, Ameerah Al-Taweel on why the kingdom’s women won’t accept a reversal on equal rights. by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon While much of the Arab Middle East has been convulsed by revolutionary change over the past year, Saudi Arabia’s ruling class has sought to straddle a fine and precarious line between reaction and reform. On one side, activists …

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The Daily Beast: Women of the World Unite!

Afghanistan’s women are struggling for their rights. The Nobel Peace Prize committee’s shout-out to females the world over to battle for democracy should bolster their cause, writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon In its statement to the world, the Norwegian Nobel Committee honored women warriors battling for peace and said it hoped the Peace Prize would help to …

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CFR Expert Brief: Looming Threat to Afghan Women’s Rights

Following the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Afghan women emerged as a high-profile focus of U.S. policy. Women’s progress was promoted as a powerful, positive product of the international presence in the war-scarred country. But ten years later, with negotiation and reconciliation widely viewed as the only options for ending the war, Afghan women’s rights seems largely forgotten. President Barack Obama …

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The Daily Beast: Hillary-Global Economy Depends on Women

The secretary of State says allowing women to participate in the world’s marketplace can help save the economy. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports on Clinton’s address to an APEC summit. by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon The world must match its words with its wallet and its will when it comes to women not just because it is the right thing to do, …

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Newsweek: Michelle Bachelet Has a Mission

Michelle Bachelet Has a Mission The U.N. tapped Chile’s former president to help women. Will politicians let her succeed? by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called July 2, 2010, a “watershed day.” That was when the General Assembly approved the creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women—known simply as U.N. …

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USA Today Opinion: Afghan people are still fighting the good fight

The military alone cannot end the conflict in Afghanistan. On that much nearly everyone can agree, offering a rare island of consensus among sides otherwise divided on the question of how and when America’s longest-ever war should wind down. Yet news media coverage from Afghanistan is dominated by the politicians in the Kabul government and men with guns. This means …

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CNN.com Opinion: Washington ignores lesson of S&P downgrade

Special to CNN STORY HIGHLIGHTS President Barack Obama said he hopes S&P downgrade will prompt compromise Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: All signs are that two parties are locked into partisan warfare She says Democrats and Republicans immediately started blaming each other Wall Street may discover it no longer likes Washington gridlock, Lemmon says Editor’s note: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon analyzed public policy …

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Bloomberg Businessweek Op-Ed: Afghan Women Stand to Lose in U.S. Drawdown

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Isobel Coleman (Bloomberg) — As the U.S. begins withdrawing from Afghanistan, ordinary Afghans are wondering whether this is the beginning of the end of serious American engagement. After spending almost $1 trillion and suffering close to 4,000 American deaths, will Washington cut and run? Or will it seek a “responsible end” to the war, as …

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Politico Op-Ed: Debt ceiling: Capital vs. the Capitol

“Surely they wouldn’t?” Until last week, that was the reaction from market types, who couldn’t believe that Washington pols would play a full-out game of political chicken with an economy still struggling to rouse itself out of recession. An economy with unemployment topping 9 percent that added only 18,000 new workers onto payrolls in its last jobs report; an economy …

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Foreign Policy Op-Ed: Fighting a 50 percent solution in Afghanistan

Speaking in Chennai on Wednesday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to reassure a worried India that the United States has no plan to cut and run when it comes to Afghanistan, no matter how ready the American public may be to end its longest-ever war. “I want to be very clear. The United States is committed to Afghanistan …

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Council on Foreign Relations Brief: Making Sense of the Afghan Peace Dividend

The debate raging on Capitol Hill over how to avoid fiscal calamity has collided with the discussion about the U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan. Around Washington, policymakers argue (Nation) that scaling back America’s commitments abroad will allow the country to focus on pressing priorities at home. President Barack Obama also linked the two. “Over the last decade, we have spent …

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Foreign Policy Op-Ed: Negotiations after the Intercontinental

To say that the peace process in Afghanistan was hardly running smoothly before Tuesday’s audacious attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel would be an understatement. As one State Department official said earlier this month at a private meeting with Afghan leaders, “there is no peace process yet.” Tuesday evening’s attack just raised the stakes even further for the nascent negotiations process. …

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Foreign Policy Op-Ed: What Obama’s speech will mean for Afghan women

Women in Afghanistan will be watching particularly closely to what President Barack Obama says this evening about the drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan, as well as watching how he says it. A group of Afghan women leaders came to Washington last week on a whirlwind policy talk-a-thon with the State Department, Pentagon, White House and Congressional leaders. On the …

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The Daily Beast: Afghan Women Demand Seat at the Table

There is no peace process in the war-torn country right now, even as troop withdrawals approach. Gayle Lemmon Tzemach reports from Washington, where Afghan women aired their fears and offered solutions. ——- On a sunny Washington afternoon this week, a group of Afghan women crowded around a wooden conference table in a bare room on the State Department’s ground floor. …

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Politico Op-Ed: The bin Laden Rorschach test

Around Washington, lawmakers, policy experts and advocates for and against the war in Afghanistan are deploying Osama bin Laden’s death to strengthen their arguments about the U.S. footprint there. There seems to be something to fortify and satisfy all sides. Bin Laden’s end has become a policy Rorschach test for which views on the past set the tone for the …

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Foreign Policy Op-Ed: The bin Laden aftermath: What does his death mean for America’s longest-ever war?

In Afghanistan Western officials expressed relief at word of Osama bin Laden’s death — and concern that Sunday night’s news would turn up the considerable pressure they already feel to convince the American public to stay the course in Afghanistan now that the man who led America to invade the country is dead. The most pressing question is, how does …

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CNN.Com: Why Think Small When It Comes To Women In Poor Nations?

We think small when it comes to women. Micro, to be exact. When I first started reporting on women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict zones in 2005, nearly everyone, from International Monetary Fund officials in their offices to development workers in the field, told me the only women I would find would be “selling cheese by the side of the …

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Newsweek Cover Story: The Hillary Doctrine

In a time of momentous change in the world, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sets out on her most heartfelt mission: to put women and girls at the forefront of the new world order.

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Television’s Threat to Afghan Women

A well-known television host claims shelters for women support prostitution. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports from Afghanistan on how the allegations put shelter staffers in mortal danger. Shelters fighting to provide safe havens for abused women in Afghanistan now find themselves battling a new—and unexpected—enemy: television. Article – Lemmon Taliban Shelters Women’s shelters in Afghanistan face a new enemy: television. Certain …

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Why Was Logan There? Because It Is Her Job

In the wake of the horrible attack on veteran war reporter and CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, a disturbing round of ‘blame the victim’ chatter has buzzed around the media, from Twitter to blogs to cable news. Some have asked directly why in the world was Logan there? Do women have any place amid such chaos? And, the next question …

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Myths about ‘unwinnable’ Afghanistan

The future of the war in Afghanistan is hotly debated around Washington. Hearings are promised — the latest from Sen. John Kerry’s Foreign Relations Committee — as a growing number of reporters, lawmakers and activists wonder why we are in Afghanistan and what the United States can gain by remaining at war in this remote, conflict-scarred and presumably ungovernable nation. …

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Why Is Karzai Cracking Down on Women?

The Afghan president is planning to take control of women’s shelters, accusing them of corruption. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon talks to women who are afraid their rights are being taken away as a compromise for the Taliban. Afghan officials are moving ahead with a plan to take over the country’s 14 women’s shelters, accusing them of misusing funds and a lack …

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Women Help Each Other Start Businesses in Afghanistan

There is a growing number of Afghan female entrepreneurs now passing along business ideas to their husbands.

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Afghanistan’s Appalling Pregnancy Deaths

Every 30 minutes, a pregnant woman dies in Afghanistan. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports from Kabul on a courageous young woman determined to change that.
When Feroza Mushtari was barely a teenager, she draped a blanket over her shoulders, donned her father’s woolen hat over her high forehead, and disguised herself as a boy to rush a neighbor suffering from agonizing labor pains to the hospital.

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Television’s Threat to Afghan Women

A well-known television host claims shelters for women support prostitution.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports from Afghanistan on how the allegations put shelter staffers in mortal danger.
Shelters fighting to provide safe havens for abused women in Afghanistan now find themselves battling a new—and unexpected—enemy: television.

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Poll Shows Support for Afghan Women’s Rights – But What Comes Next?

Support in Afghanistan for women’s rights to vote and go to school remains strong at nearly 90 percent, according to a new poll out from ABC News and its partners. Despite the growing insurgency and an increasingly grim view of security in the country, 69 percent of those polled support a women’s right to work outside the home, and 64 percent say they support women working in government.

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Bibi Aisha’s Pain Isn’t Over

Nearly a year after we first reported the story of Bibi Aisha, a young Afghan teenager brutally maimed by her Taliban-sympathizing husband and his family, she’s been relocated to the U.S. and become a media phenomenon. But as Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reports, her story does not yet have a happy ending.

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Afghan Women Rising

In an airy two-story house behind a metal gatewatched over by an armed guard in Afghanistan’s capital city, Fatima Hakim Zada sits in a hulking black leather executive chair in front of a newish silver Dell computer and explains why she went into the construction business. “I was in Afghanistan and I saw the civil war; I saw everything damaged …

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Secret to Rebuilding the World’s Economy

A consensus is forming among global business leaders that investing in one of the world

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When Raisins Give Hope to Afghan Farmers

KABUL — Raisin Producer Cooperative Center No. 2 stands alone astride the highway in Parwan Province, an hour north of Kabul. Inside the clay-colored building with a cheery yellow gate, a group of Afghan raisin farmers sits cross-legged on the tan carpet, talking about the past — and the future. “Before the wars, we were exporting our raisins to the …

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Afghan Women Need A Seat At The Table

As Washington looks for a graceful end to its longest war — today is the ninth anniversary — talk about reconciliation between the Kabul government and the Taliban forces is growing louder in Afghanistan. The Washington Post on Wednesday presented the latest reports about these increasingly serious negotiations. Yet many women in Afghanistan are uneasy, even fearful, about the prospect …

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While the World Scales Back its Afghanistan Ambitions, Afghan Women Push Forward

At the same time the United States is scaling back its goals for Afghanistan, women in the country are scaling up their own ambitions. In arenas ranging from medicine to the military, from small business to civil society, women are speaking up for themselves and tackling ever-larger aspirations. While problems loom large in a country in which female literacy rates …

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An 11-Year-Old Bride Escapes

Seated on a hulking sofa at the Kabul children’s center she calls home, Obaida shares the preteen habits of most other 12-year-old girls around the world. She squirms, she giggles, she fidgets with her bracelets before unleashing a torrent of chatter about her love of school, her fellow students, and her computer class. Unlike most girls her age, however, Obaida …

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Let Women Protect Afghanistan

A dozen women wearing olive-green uniforms and black head scarves picked up Hungarian AMD-65 rifles in the late morning Kabul heat, and marched toward their targets. Surrounded by soaring mountains, they crossed a vast swath of grass the Soviets once used for their own military exercises. Razia, 28, shot and then surveyed her bullet-ridden paper target. A smile exploded across …

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A Girl Triumphs Over an Unspeakable Crime

On a sweltering July afternoon in Kabul, Bibi Aisha sits in a second-floor office holding a black scarf dotted with sequins over half her face. The 19-year-old is talking about her upcoming trip to the other side of the world. Click below to watch Diane Sawyer’s segment on Bibi Aisha, inspired by The Daily Beast’s reporting. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-27/afghan-girl-mutilated-by-in-laws-travels-to-us-for-surgery/?cid=hp:mainpromo4 “I am really happy …

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A Warning In Kabul

Secretary Clinton may be one of the highest-profile attendees at Tuesday’s Kabul Conference, but Afghan women fear their opinions won’t be heard—and they worry new deals with fighters will roll back their hard-fought rights. As Hillary Clinton prepares to attend Tuesday’s Kabul Conference, Afghan women are delivering a plain message to government and international officials: Women’s voices should be heard. …

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Will Afghan women’s rights be bargained away?

(CNN) — On a recent afternoon I visited with a Kabul girls’ high school principal, whose office looks out on a beautiful and blooming garden. Trained in mathematics, she works 12 hours a day at a school that teaches more than 4,000 girls in three shifts each day. She smiled with pride as she pointed to a shiny gold championship …

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The Gas Attack On Young Girls

Afghan authorities say they are investigating a rash of attacks against schoolgirls in the northern province of Kunduz, blaming anti-government forces opposed to girls’ education for suspected gas poisoning. In the past week, more than 80 students in three separate girls’ schools have reported falling ill in their classrooms, suffering from headaches, fever, dizziness, and vomiting. The Taliban have denied …

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A Bhutto’s Search For Justice

Fatima Bhutto’s life has been shaped by death. In 1996, Pakistani policemen fatally shot her father, Murtaza Bhutto, just 200 yards from her house. Fatima, then 14, watched him die hours later in a hospital too poorly equipped to treat him. The police would not let her mother file a report. The search for justice—for her father and for her …

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U.S. Military Experiments With Empowering Afghan Businesswomen

KABUL — Standing at the front of a narrow trailer with cardboard-covered windows that serves as a conference room at the Camp Eggers military base, Capt. Edgard Flores of the U.S. Air Force held up a sample of a men’s brown T-shirt and put a ruler to it. “It’s very simple,” he said, speaking slowly in American English that his …

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An Unspeakable Crime

U.S. Air Force Major Dr. Jeff Lewis still remembers the stifling August afternoon when Nadia reached his surgical team near southern Afghanistan’s Tarin Kowt, a town long known as a Taliban stronghold. The young woman, whose name has been changed to protect her security, had been brought to the coalition’s Forward Operating Base Ripley by her father, who hoped the …

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What the Surge Means for Women

Sitting atop a burgundy pillow with her back pressed up against the bare white wall of the shelter she now calls home, Naseema pushes her polka-dot headscarf away from her eyes and begins to tell her story. She was around 16 years old when her father, who suffered from mental illness, married her off without her consent, for a sum …

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Afghan Women Leaders Demand Support

While Afghans wait to hear whether President Obama will indeed decide to send more troops to their soil, one group is watching especially closely: the nation’s women leaders, who worry about what comes next—and whether they will be able to hold on to the gains they have made since the international community flooded Afghanistan with dollars and development programs seven …

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Amid war Afghanistan trains thousands of new midwives

Through a courtyard piled high with heaps of trash and teeming with flies, two sturdy women sit in a cool, dark room before a group of nearly a dozen women who range in age from 15 to 50. The two are midwives who have come to talk to the women living here with limited electricity and little clean water about …

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Extending the Horizon for Woman’s Aid Projects in Afghanistan

KABUL – Off the dust-coated Kote Sangi road in the Afghan capital stands a worn beige sign on stilts with blue painted letters advertising the Women’s World Market.Behind the sign, however, neither a market nor any women are to be seen. Instead, what six months ago was a darkened shopping mall with few open stores and even fewer female customers …

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Afghan Candidates Face More Vocal Constituency: Women.

On a recent humid summer morning, two dozen women stream into a conference room overlooking a lush garden at Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani’s headquarters. They have come to hear the former finance minister’s policies on women – and to tell him what they want from the next administration: more female representation in senior political positions. “It is worth mentioning …

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Afghan woman is all about business

Entrepreneur Kamela Sediqi teaches Afghans around the country the skills they need to start ventures. Kabul, Afghanistan – In a small office hidden behind a gate in Kabul, Kamela Sediqi sits at her laptop and builds her business. The unlikely entrepreneur is the architect of Kaweyan Business Development Services, a consulting firm she started in 2004 with only her computer …

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When a Rug Covers More Than The Floor

When a rug covers more than the floor When Kevin Clark saw the rich, russet-colored carpet hanging in a New York showroom, he immediately was drawn to its deep hues and unique geometric pattern. After learning that the carpet was part of a program to bring the benefits of trade to impoverished Afghan women who weave, the New Jersey-based interior …

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All work/All play: Crafting a way out of a war zone

Amber Chand was frustrated. Even before the palm grass baskets sold on her Web site arrived from Darfur to her warehouse in Massachusetts, they had sold out. And given the risks presented by a supply chain originating in the violence-shattered region of the Sudan, there was no guarantee that she would be able to fulfill her back- order list before …

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A resilient Bosnia makes up for lost time

SARAJEVO Entering the doorway of the bright yellow building that is soon to be her textile factory, Narcisa Kavazovic points proudly to the new showroom for the collection of pillows and bedcovers sold by her company, Kana. The sunny and modern two-story building on the outskirts of Sarajevo is near a war’s former frontlines and a far cry from the …

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Afghan women break into a ‘man’s world’.

When Shahla Nawabi arrived in Kabul to visit her father in 2002, she intended to stay for three months. More than three years later, she is part of an emerging class of women entrepreneurs launching businesses in a nation where women were banned from work and study only five years ago. “Coming back home and seeing the situation of the …

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How to weave around the odds.

Sitting in her showroom, Janet Nkubana is recovering from a hectic day spent shipping 5,000 Christmas ornaments and baskets to Macy’s in New York. It is the first of several shipments Ms Nkubana’s company, Gahaya Links, will send to the department store. Amid displays of baskets, shawls and necklaces, Ms Nkubana says reaching the US market is a big achievement …

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