Neglected issue

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2001, 12:00am

Now all the reporting regarding the Taleban's destruction of the Buddhist statues has died down somewhat, I thought it time to reflect on this issue.

In the past few months a host of leaders of countries as well as of various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and even the UN, fell over each other to try and prevent the Taleban authorities from carrying out this irreversible destruction of historically and religiously-important statues. The destruction of these statues is truly regrettable.

What I would like to bring forward is what we did not read, and indeed what did not happen. Taleban authorities have systematically been suppressing women for a long time now. But I have not heard of leaders of countries, NGOs nor the UN falling over each other to try and prevent the authorities from doing that.

I acknowledge that this is a more fundamentally difficult question since it is ingrained in every sphere of society, but I do think it deserves, if not more, then at least equal attention.