A Population-Based Assessment of Women's Mental Health and Attitudes toward Women's Human Rights in Afghanistan

Amowitz, Lynn L.; Heisler, Michele; Iacopino, Vincent
July 2003
Journal of Women's Health (15409996);Jul/Aug2003, Vol. 12 Issue 6, p577
Academic Journal
The article presents a population-based assessment of women's mental health and attitudes toward women's human rights in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule. Afghanistan suffered the effects of war for more than 20 years. Taliban, a radical fundamentalist Islamic movement, systematically restricted women's human rights, such as freedom of expression, association, and movement and access to work, education, and many health services. The sample consisted of female heads of household and, if available, one of their close male relatives. All study participants were selected using systematic random sampling or a combination of systematic random sampling and cluster sampling. In Afghanistan, the samples were taken of rural and urban households in a Taliban-controlled and non Taliban-controlled area. The article informs that in Afghanistan under the Taliban, policies restricting women's rights were not the product of years of tradition or of social and economic deprivation. In Taliban-controlled areas depression rates among women in Afghanistan were extraordinarily high.


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