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Female Marines have difficult task of winning over Afghan women

May 29, 2010

The New York Times today writes about how so-called female engagement teams, groups of women Marines, are going out into Afghan villages to win over the female half of the population. The NYT calls this “a fragile bond.”

I’ve written about the same topic a while back for the Navy Times in Female troops take on new role in Afghanistan.

My story about female engagement teams on the Navy Times.

This type of outreach, former Marine Claire Russo told me, can lead to very important information — women know who’s supposed to be in their village and who isn’t. They often had to suffer under Taliban rule and are more open to working with the U.S., Russo said. This new form of outreach also offers challenges to female troops, who are traditionally not supposed to be on the front line.

This is a really interesting topic, and given the fact that women do have an important position in Afghan society, as Russo said, it’s surprising this hasn’t been done before. It’ll be interesting to see how this new tactic develops.

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