FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARY MacMAKIN TO SPEAK ON THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN
Mary MacMakin, founder and director of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Support for Afghanistan (PARSA), will speak on "Women Under the Taliban" on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. in Reed College's Vollum lounge. The lecture is sponsored by the Reed department of religion and is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Reed events hotline at 503/777-7755.
MacMakin will discuss the devastating effects the Taliban has on women, especially widows, and children. PARSA is dedicated to helping women, who are prohibited by the Taliban from working outside of their homes, earn a living by rug making, weaving, and other handcrafts. Through PARSA MacMakin has initiated clandestine schools for girls, which are prohibited, and craft and vocational schools for boys.
MacMakin, who is 71 years old, has worked in Afghanistan as a physiotherapist for the last 26 years. After the war with Russia and during the ensuing civil unrest she founded PARSA in response to the needs of war widows. Last July she was accused of spying and spreading anti-Taliban propaganda and was arrested and expelled from Afghanistan. Since then she has been able to return and is currently working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to let her male staff supervise the ongoing USAID projects for orphans and boys from poor families. She is also working to rebuild her program for women.
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