The main obstacle to solidly establishing women’s rights in Afghanistan, Ms. Jalal opined, is the old guard’s economic and political clout. For warlords, she said, “political power has become a business.”
Women have “knowledge, experience and political consciousness … but they cannot compete within this power circle because they don’t have enormous economic power in their hands.”
They have barely any economic power. But even small steps, like microloans from organizations like Kiva won’t make a difference if Afghan women aren’t made aware of them, or other opportunities.