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ICYMI: Don't Abandon the Women of Afghanistan

October 24, 2013 by Sally McDonough

Former Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and Chair of the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council Paula Dobriansky, along with Former Ambassador for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer, write this week for CNN.com on the significant but fragile gains made by Afghan women in recent years.

For example, school enrollment for girls has increased from 5,000 under Taliban rule to more than 2.4 million today.  Girls are back in school, women hold important positions in local and national government, and they play a vital role in the country’s economy. When women are empowered to participate in civic life, they contribute to the stability and the prosperity of their nation.

But a recent United Nations report finds that in the first six months of 2013, the deaths of women and children jumped 38 percent compared to the same period last year. Violence is on the rise, and Afghanistan's elections and the impending drawdown of American troops mark a new era in the country's development.

“American forces will be drawn down next year. It's absolutely imperative that their exit not bring on a backslide. The country's government must be expected to keep its commitments to women and girls,” write Dobriansky and Verveer.

Mrs. Bush has continued to promote women’s freedom in Afghanistan by speaking out on the issue and through her work with the Bush Institute’s Afghan Women’s Project. To learn more about the continuing commitment to stand with the women of Afghanistan and how you can support their gains, visit the Afghan Women’s Project page.  Read the full article from Dobriansky and Verveer here

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