Friday, April 3, 2009 | Categories: Episodes
It's Friday, April 3rd.
The Government of Afghanistan has passed a law that would make it illegal for Shia women to refuse sex to their husbands, take custody of their children or leave the house without their husband's permission.
Currently, Good thing we got rid of The Taliban eh?
This is The Current.
Recession Generation - Historian
We started this segment with a Kinks song, Well Respected Man and that's how a lot of people who grew up in the 1960s saw their parents' generation. And they weren't the only ones. More than a few journalists and academics have scanned the people who came of age during the Great Depression and painted a picture of an entire generation scarred by an era of economic strife ... a generation who grew up cautious and resigned and who never really managed to outrun the experience.
In 1951, Time Magazine even went so far as to dub them, "The Silent Generation."
And with the current global recession threatening to linger around for a while, some have begun to wonder how it will affect the generation that's growing up today. So we asked a few people who lived through the Great Depression if they had any advice for today's young people. We heard from Slim Bondenson, June Caron and Jack Rodway in Winnipeg.
Robert McElvaine has written extensively about the Great Depression as well as the imprint it left on a generation of young people. He's a professor of history at Millsaps College. He's also the author of The Great Depression and Down and Out in the Great Depression. And Robert McElvaine was in Jackson, Mississippi.
Recession Generation - The Deal
Of course the people coming of age during the current global recession have their own views on the subject. We aired a clip with how a students from Vancouver in their late teens and early twenties think the recession is going to shape their outlooks.
And they're not alone in their skepticism about being defined by the global recession. Yvette Kantrow is the Executive Editor of The Deal, a magazine about economic issues. And she was in New York City.
And we wanted to end with one final thought from Clara Cannucciari. She's become something of a star on Youtube thanks to a series of videos shot by her grandson called Depression Cooking with Clara.
Last Lawyer Standing - Documentary
Lawyers as we'd recognize them today first started popping up in Roman times. The first lawyer joke is said to have followed a few weeks later. Still, for all the popular disdain for the profession, the idea that you really should get a lawyer for anything more than the simplest of court cases has become widely accepted wisdom.
But according to Beverley McLachlin -- the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada -- 44 per cent of the cases in some Canadian courts involve litigants without a lawyer ... people who are representing themselves.
Freelance broadcaster Ian Clayton has been looking into this phenomenon and what it means for Canada's legal system. He prepared a documentary called Last Lawyer Standing and he was in Vancouver.
Afghan Women Law: MP
All week, elected officials, human rights activists, even members of his own government have been taking aim at Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The ever-mounting criticism was sparked by a new law that many say could have been written by the Taliban.
The law is aimed at the country's minority Shia population. And it's believed that the law makes it illegal for Shia women to refuse their husband sex or to leave the house without their husband's permission. The law has been passed by Afghanistan's parliament and approved by President Karzai. But it has not yet been formally published. So even some Afghan diplomats say they aren't entirely sure what it says.
Some analysts say President Karzai has been trying to keep the details of the law hidden and that he likely approved it in order to win the support of Afghanistan's ethnic Hazaras in the upcoming Presidential election. But now, as President Karzai is being besieged by demands to amend the law... many are anxiously watching how this will play out.
Shukria Barakzai is a member of the Afghan parliament and she believes the law does contain some good elements. She was in Kabul.
Afghan Women Law: Sally Armstrong
For her take on the implications of this law, we were joined by Sally Armstrong. She is a journalist, an author and a human rights activist. And much of her recent work is related to the plight of the women of Afghanistan. Her latest book is Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan's Women. Sally Armstrong was in Oakville, Ontario.
Afghan Women Law: Professor
So while Sally Armstrong and many others argue that the West cannot and should not tolerate this new law, Shahnaz Khan has a different take on the issue. For one thing, she notes that in fact, the West has been tolerating the mistreatment of women in Afghanistan for years.
Shahnaz Khan is a professor of Women's Studies and Global Studies at Sir Wilfred Laurier University. She's also the author of "From Rescue to Regonition", published in Topia, Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies lasy year. And she was in Toronto.
Last Word - Terrorism Recession
And we ended the week with a little signpost of just how bad the global economic recession has become. Thanks to some diligent investigative work, our friends at CBC's Content Factory have intercepted Osama bin Laden's next video taped message. And it turns out, even terrorists are feeling the pinch. Oh, and since this comes so closely on the heals of our April Fool's Day escapades ... we'll just tell you straight out. Yes, they made this up.