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We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope

March 8, 2016
by the George W. Bush Institute, with an introduction by Mrs. Laura Bush

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On March 8, the George W. Bush Institute will release its latest book, We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope.With an introduction by Mrs. Laura Bush, the book highlights the stories of extraordinarily resilient women and their struggles, successes, and resolve in present-day Afghanistan.

Published by Scribner, We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope is a compilation of stories from 28 inspiring women and one brave man. It provides portraits of a host of accomplished Afghan women from all walks of life, including educators, business owners, politicians, midwives, artists, and advocates.

It is important for those of us around the world, both women and men, to stop and listen to Afghanistan’s women. How can we help change the lives of women in Afghanistan? The women in these pages have their own thoughtful answers. By listening, we also have a chance to learn.

Mrs. Laura Bush

Since 2001, enrollment of Afghan girls in primary schools has increased from 5,000 to 2.5 million. As access to education increases, women are taking their places as leaders in the economy and in politics. The women in the book illustrate this progress: they have persevered through harsh circumstances and contributed positive change to their nation. The successes for Afghan women are real, but so are the challenges. The women sharing their stories capture both in vivid, poignant, and powerful detail, and they challenge the world to listen.

For more than a decade, Mrs. Bush has led efforts through the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council to protect the hard-earned rights of women in that country. As First Lady, she made three trips to Afghanistan and in 2001 she delivered the President’s weekly radio address – a first for a First Lady – to direct international attention to the Taliban’s oppression of women. She continues her work through the Bush Institute’s Afghan Women’s Project, which supports effective programs in Afghanistan and highlights the success of Afghan women by sharing their stories.

Related Event

The George W. Bush Presidential Center will celebrate the book release on International Women’s Day, March 8, by hosting a poignant conversation moderated by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren between Mrs. Bush and an Afghan woman featured in the new book. The event will mark the start of a brief book tour by Mrs. Bush in the week that follows.

 

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