In her letter about granting rights to women in Afghanistan, Jordana Bannerman claims that it “may not be the most urgent issue at this point in the country’s history”, that the country has “more basic challenges to overcome”, and that the issue is only important “when viewed through the lens of North American values”.
Seriously? What could be more basic and urgent than granting women with fundamental rights and dignity that they intrinsically deserve? I fear that this kind of moral relativism is not only condescending, but also damaging. The right to vote, the right to an education, the right to live free of domestic violence, the right to wear what you want, and the right to choose when, who, and if you marry are not “North American values”. They are universal ethical values that should be granted to everyone regardless or religion, culture, age, sex, or place.