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Standing with Afghan Women

August 17, 2011 by Charity Wallace

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.

 

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. 

Full Bio

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