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Public Execution Is Another Warning Sign for Afghan Women and the World

July 9, 2012 by Charity Wallace

This report from Afghanistan about the public execution of a woman by a Taliban member is horrifying, and a reminder of what is at stake for Afghan women.  With the approaching withdrawal of troops in 2014, Afghanistan faces the prospect of continuing the progress that has been made for women (seen in the return of millions of girls to school and the reestablishment of economic opportunities for women), or returning to the brutal days of Taliban rule marked by the degradation of women and slaughtering of men and women. The calling for the arrest of the Taliban executioner by President Hamid Karzai is a hopeful sign.  His leadership in the defense of women must be acknowledged.  But, the country must do more to protect their women.  Afghan women fear the return of days of darkness and hopelessness after experiencing a decade of progress and expectation for a better life. Much has been sacrificed to give Afghan women a chance at a better life, and we cannot turn our backs on them now.  The cost and struggle to liberate a tortured people has been high, but the alternative is unacceptable.  Afghanistan is at a crossroads and countries around the world should insist that Afghanistan sustain the gains in human rights made thus far and help the country achieve her full potential – especially for her women.  The world cannot endure the barbaric acts of the Taliban and terrorists.  We must speak out strongly, and collectively, against these cowardice acts and support President Karzai and his leadership on this issue.  We owe it to Afghans, men and women, boys and girls, who have experienced freedom and desire a new day for Afghanistan. This post was written by Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative  at the George W. Bush Institute.


Author

Charity Wallace
Charity Wallace

Charity N. Wallace serves as the Senior Advisor to the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute and is in an executive graduate program in pursuit of a Global Master of Arts degree in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Most recently, Ms. Wallace served as the Vice President of the Global Women’s Initiatives and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush. In this role, Ms. Wallace was responsible for setting the vision and managing the policy engagement for the women’s initiatives, including Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon global health initiative, empowering women in the Middle East and working with First Ladies from around the world. The Women's Initiative aims to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

From February 2009 through September 2010, Wallace served as the Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush.  Wallace oversaw Mrs. Bush’s initiatives - from her wide ranging policy agenda to her the publishing and promotion of Mrs. Bush’s bestselling book, Spoken from the Heart. Wallace served in the Bush Administration from January 2001 to January 2009.  During her tenure in the administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States (2007-2009), Director of Advance for First Lady Laura Bush (2004-2007), and worked in public liaison positions in Presidential Advance, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and USA Freedom Corps. During her tenure in the Bush Administration and in her current role, Wallace has traveled to 70 countries.

Ms. Wallace serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, the Advisory Board of ARZU Studio Hope, the Advisory Board of 4word Women and the Advisory Board of All In Together, an bi-partisan organization that promotes women’s engagement in political and civic life.  Ms. Wallace is an ex-officio member on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the Bush Institute.  Ms. Wallace wrote the foreword for the book Work, Love, Pray, which was released in 2011. A native of California, Ms. Wallace graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus in international relations. 

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