Regardless of what form oppression takes in certain sections of the world, whether it is preventing girls from being educated, women from holding position in what is called men only jobs, or giving individuals the right to medical care and the use of technology, it is important that we celebrate any success that is achieved.

The media have reported that the head of NATO led International Security Assistance in Afghanistan believe the war against the Taliban is being won and he sighted some amazing facts as to why he believes this to be the case.

For example, he alleges that almost eight million children are now in school of which 40% are girls, under the Taliban between 1996-2001 there were only 1 million children attending school and it was mostly boys.  There were only 9% of Afghans, in 2002, that had access to basic health care today 85% can reach a medical facility within an hour and because of this their life expectancy is steadily rising.  Over 17 million people are now using mobile phones  and women hold 25% of the seats in parliament.

These achievements may seem insignificant to westerners but to the people of Afghanistan that is progress that they did not dream that they could achieve, so let us celebrate this step in the right direction for the country and its people.

Of course, there are those who will try to dampen the spirit of this report by outlining the number of deaths that is taking place in the country.  There is no doubt that progress is slow in curtailing those that are hell-bent on destroying the manner in which society should be and of course history taught us that where major changes occur or if we are defeating the status quo it will most likely be achieved by  bloodshed. There have been two world wars that have taken the life of millions in order to defeat oppression and give us the right particularly in the west to exercise the freedom that most of us take for granted.

Let us hope that NATO can further build on the progress that they have clearly made in Afghanistan and hope that in the years ahead and when they finally leave that country’s democracy will be firmly rooted and the likes of the Talibans and their archaic and mundane attitudes will never be able to be established again and they will realize that in order for them to be a part of the community they have to work with the people and not against them as the people have no desire to return to the dark ages.

By Sandrea: My Opinion

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