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Seeking Equal Rights in the Arab World
This article originally published in the Orange County Register.
The Taliban's recent shooting of a 15-year-old Pakistani girl for speaking out in favor of women's education is a stark reminder of the global plight of women. As the Arab Spring progresses, strong constitutional commitments to democracy and human rights are essential for the region to enjoy the peace and prosperity its people deserve. We must press for human rights to be protected in the constitutions of the Middle East and elsewhere. Even if these rights are not perfectly honored in the short term, their inclusion in a nation's constitution gives future generations of reformers a powerful legal and rhetorical tool. Civil rights leaders in America invoked the Constitution constantly in their fight for freedom. Even in today's volatile environment, our influence in the Middle East remains strong. Each year, we give billions of dollars in foreign aid to this region. As freedom advocates build a new social foundation with new constitutions, the U.S. has a unique opportunity to ensure that that foundation is stable and capable of supporting a vibrant society by pressing for the protection of equal rights for women and religious minorities.
Read the full article here.
This post was written by Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.
What’s Happening in Afghanistan?
While there have been tremendous gains in Afghanistan, lack of security threatens these gains daily.
Q&A with Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi, Member of Parliament, Afghanistan
Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi is a member of the national assembly of Afghanistan. She represents Badakhshan province in the Wolesi Jirga (house of representatives). Her story is one of survival, pursuit of dreams, and dedication to women’s well-being and health. Here, Dr. Ibrahimi shares her thoughts on the current state of Afghan women’s empowerment, the challenges women face in achieving equal rights, and the impact women have on the country’s long-term peace, security, and prosperity.
In Case You Missed It: The Breadwinner, an Animated Film About the Strength and Resilience of Afghan Women and Girls, Premieres in the U.S.
Executive producer Angelina Jolie tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.