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Standing with Afghan Women

Article by Charity Wallace August 17, 2011 //   2 minute read

Women are one of the greatest resources and reasons for hope in Afghanistan, but their gains must be protected so they can realize their promise and potential.  The article in Businessweek by Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, “Afghan Women Lose in U.S. Drawdown,” once again makes the case for our continued support of Afghanistan and reminds us that the stakes are high – especially for the women of Afghanistan. As one female Afghan parliamentarian told Mrs. Bush, “this is our only chance”.  President and Mrs. Bush remain resolute in their support of Afghanistan, particularly of her women.  The George W. Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative highlights the resolve of the Bushes through events and conferences, such as the March 2010 conference on Educating and Empowering the Women and Girls of Afghanistan.  Building upon Mrs. Bush’s leadership as the Honorary Advisor to the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council and her October 2010 op-ed on protecting the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, the Bush Institute hosted the Building Afghanistan’s Future conference in March 2011 focused on protecting women’s rights and the effects of economic opportunity for women in Afghanistan. At the Bush Institute’s conference on Educating and Empowering the Women and Girls of Afghanistan, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Founder of the Afghan Institute for Learning implored, “don’t be sorry for us.  Be patient with us – but be with us”.  Afghanistan must make the hard and wise decisions, including protecting women’s freedoms, but we must support them during this critical time of transition.

 

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