Blue Hats for safety of Afghan women, girl-children

The UN must immediately offer, and deploy a PeaceKeeping Force to Afghanistan to escort girls and women for going from their homes, to their places of study, school, college, and offices.

The Taliban must instruct its ground soldiers to not attack any blue helmet-wearing UN peace keeping soldiers (their uniform includes a blue helmet) who will be giving escort and security to girls and women who are going out to study or work.

The UN force could set up a system of cars, buses for transport of girls and children, accompanied by blue hats. Since the force would be deployed only upon the invitation of Taliban, the Taliban could perhaps also provide some “safety corridors” that will help them build an Afghan society that respects, and is safe and secure, for girls and women.

The Taliban has said that its “talib” are not trained to respect women, and therefore women should work from home for their own safety. This is a strange situation. The world community must help to solve this problem. One smart way to do so would be to deploy a UN PeaceKeeping Force solely for purposes of women security.

It is a fact that women are bearing the brunt of this regime change. India must take leadership on this issue and raise the matter with the UN Secretary General, and with the UN Security Council. India must also talk on this proposal with the US, Russia, the European Union, China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, among others.

The UN should immediately talk to Taliban and offer this help in the nation-building of Afghanistan, so that the proud Afghan people build a society where girls and women are safe.

The Taliban has admitted that it has a problem. World community must seize this opportunity and persuade, convince Taliban that a UN PeaceKeeping Force for women would help them build a safer, better society.

This is a classic case study of the proverbial phrase, “When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade”. Afghanistan is a lemon today, and the world must try do whatever it can to improve the situation.

(Robinder Sachdev is president of the Imagindia Institute. All views expressed are personal)