TrustLaw, a “global centre for free legal assistance and a hub of news and information on anti-corruption issues, good governance and women’s legal rights” released a report today on the World’s Most Dangerous Countries for Women and Girls: (Video: Where Women Are Most at Risk )

* Afghanistan tops expert poll of dangers to women

* Congo plagued by rape as weapon of war

* Pakistan blighted by acid attacks and ‘honour killings’

* India cited for trafficking and sexual slavery

* Somalia seen as having full gamut of risks

Atop the list: Afghanistan:

Afghanistan emerged as the most dangerous country for women overall and worst in three of the six risk categories: health, non-sexual violence and lack of access to economic resources.

Respondents cited sky-high maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a near total lack of economic rights. Afghan women have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth, according to UNICEF

 Among the countries on this list -Afghanistan is one that the United States has been actively involved in for about a decade.  Trustlaw recognizes that there have been improvements to the quality of life for women since the fall of the Taliban; however, Afghanistan is still THE MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRY FOR WOMEN .

Women’s rights face setbacks from the Taliban, poor security, a strengthening conservative faction and even the present government itself.

Aid groups warn girls’ education is in danger because of poor security, lack of funds and inadequate teacher-training.

Attacks on their schools and teachers, such as last month’s killing of the headmaster of a girls’ school near Kabul by Taliban gunmen, highlight persistent opposition, as do Taliban threats against working women across many professions.

Now that Osama Bin Laden is dead, and as discussions heat up concerning the removal of US military forces from Afghanistan – I turn our attention back to the fact that TrustLaw still lists Afghanistan as the MOST dangerous coutnry for women.  As ethicists, as we discuss jus post bellum and the need for long term security, just accords, social restoration….I wish to call attention to the need to protect the rights of women. Without recognition, promotion, and embracing of the full dignity of all Afghan women – there can be no reconciliation.

(The situation of women in Congo and rape as a tool of war….a post for another day.)