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Question: What do you gain from experiences with different cultures?, And feel free to add any thoughts on Afghan women and burqas CPNN article: BURQUA
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 2002,14:08

Six readers have commented on Rutherford's article. Several different issues were raised; brought up in almost every response was the idea of cultural differences- do we, as Westerners, have the right/capacity to judge another culture? One reader mentioned that "if these women take an action against burqas, Afganistan become[s] another westernized country [and that] western value[s are] not necessarily right and having pride of their tradition and culture is also important."

However, several of the people who wrote in support of cultural awareness also felt, in the specific case of Afgan women and the burqa, that this cultural respect needed to be "taken with a grain of salt and an eye on human rights" because "an important issue here is that women have to have to wear the burqa?[they] have no choice, this is what makes wearing the burqa so oppressive". Another reader mentioned that she supports RAWA, the Revolutionary Association Women in Afganistan, and asked for a link to their website: RAWA.

Another issue surrounding Afgan women and the burqa was raised in the responses: "I think the burqas is such a hot topic in the American media because [,to Westerners,] it is a ["clear"] example of [sexism] and abolishing the burqas[would provide] a clear and visible change[to make us feel like we made a difference], but I think that we are ignoring the underlying societal structures that keeps the oppression of women alive in Afghanistan and in America."
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