As U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan proceeds, the question of what will happen to the women of Afghanistan is increasingly urgent.
Afghan women and girls have achieved significant social and economic gains over the last decade. With the support of development funding from the international community, millions of women have acquired an education, participated in community development programs, and gained access to health care. These achievements are among the few bright spots of the international mission in Afghanistan. They should be protected as foreign troops begin to withdraw and political negotiations seek to end the war.
These developments are discussed in my new updated report, Afghan Women Speak: Enhancing Security and Human Rights in Afghanistan, just released from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Produced and disseminated in cooperation with Women’s Action for New Directions, the report draws from more than 70 interviews in Afghanistan, including those conducted during my trip to Kabul last October. The report sheds new light on the political, social and economic conditions of women in Afghanistan today. It offers concrete policy proposals to sustain the gains that have been achieved as the U.S. and other foreign forces complete their military withdrawal in the coming months.
A copy of the report is available here.