TIME Honors Influential Women in Asia

This week’s issue of Time Magazine’s Asian edition has a special section on “60 Years of Asian Heroes”. Not surprisingly the annoited heroes are disproportionately male. And most of the women listed are predictable–Corazon Aquino, Aung San Suu Kyi, Maxine Hong Kingston, Mother Theresa. But there are also some names that are less known outside of Asia, actress Gong Li and novelist Han Suyin. Another name that has been included is Meena, founder of the women’s rights organization, RAWA (Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan). The description of Meena’s work ends with this paragraph,

“Today, for the first time in Afghan history, women have campaigned
for, and won, seats in the national parliament. One of these women is
Gulhar Jalal, a childhood friend of Meena’s and an illiterate widow
who now represents the province of Kunar. “I ran,” she says, “because
this was Meena’s dream.””

Given the horrific conditions under which Afghan women are still struggling, this description of one woman being elected seems almost a rosy little out of context slice of life. One does wonder if this piece ran in the U.S. version of Time whether they would feel obligated to tout the Bush administration’s bogus claims of bettering the lives of women in Afghanistan, but kudos to Time for giving the credit where it is due to Meena and the women of RAWA who continue her work.


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