First All-Female Marine Team at Work in Afghanistan

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Johanna Shaffer (photo by Lance Cpl. Monty Burton)

U.S. Marines in Farah Province, Afghanistan, are using an all-female unit to interact with Afghan women in a region in which male Marines talking with women would be considered culturally unacceptable. A similar program has already met with success in Iraq, but rural Afghanistan is considered more traditional and more challenging. In deference to local custom, for their first mission, the Marines wore head and neck scarves. The Marine team is part of a counterinsurgency operation. Another story from Afghanistan is a reminder of the wide divide between Afghan culture and Western norms. The Supreme Court of Afghanistan upheld a 20-year prison sentence for Parwiz Kambakhsh, a 24-year-old university journalist who was charged with blasphemy for downloading and distributing an article that was critical of the role of women in Islam.

All-Female Marine Team Conducts First Mission in Southern Afghanistan (by Monty Burton, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Afghanistan)
Afghan Court Backs Prison Term for Blasphemy (by Abdul Waheed Wafa and Carlotta gall, New York Times)


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