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ICYMI: Afghan Women Fear Rights Will Erode as U.S. Leaves

Article by Charity Wallace February 1, 2013 //   3 minute read

Yesterday’s article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, Afghan Women Fear Rights Will Erode as U.S. Leaves, highlights the tenuous situation women and girls in Afghanistan find themselves.  After September 11, 2001, the eyes of the world turned toward Afghanistan and the world learned of the brutal and barbaric acts of the Taliban, especially against women.  Girls were forbidden from going to school and women were banned from leaving their houses without a male escort. More than a decade of progress has brought hope for a brighter future for Afghanistan, particularly its women.  Afghan women are serving as police officers, starting their own businesses, and one courageous woman is the governor of the Bamiyan Province.  These encouraging steps forward will help Afghanistan rebuild and lead to a more stable country – but, this progress is tenuous and the reversal of these hard-won gains will be devastating to the country and her women. President and Mrs. Bush remain resolute in their support of Afghan women.  Through the Bush Institute Women’s Initiative, they have hosted two conferences on Afghan women.  The first focused on education and the second on expanding economic opportunity and protecting women’s rights.  Studies show that if women are included in an economy, the country is more stable and prosperous.  And, if women are educated, their families and communities will be healthier, educated, and more successful. The Wall Street Journal article reminds us of the stakes for women in Afghanistan and stresses the need for the international community to stay committed to Afghanistan.  Pressure must remain on the leaders in Afghanistan to keep their word to protect women.  We cannot abandon the women of Afghanistan – because if we do, we almost guarantee them futures of oppression and violence.

This post was written by Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative  at the George W. Bush Institute.