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What We’re Reading – February 13, 2014

Article by Brittney Bain February 13, 2014 //   3 minute read

Afghan women have experienced great progress over the last decade but their future remains uncertain. As troubling news continues to come out of Afghanistan, we are reminded that the international community cannot turn its back. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times take an in-depth look at the hard-won gains of Afghan women since the fall of the Taliban and the threats that remain as troops draw down this year.

The Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative team is also keeping a close eye on news out of Tunisia. The country’s new constitution, which was adopted by the Tunisian parliament last month, begins to take effect this week. Three years after the birth of the Arab Spring, the constitution shows reasons to remain optimistic about freedom in the region. The Bush Institute will soon welcome 20 outstanding Tunisian women for the 2014 Women’s Initiative Fellowship class. Each woman has a specific vision for how she plans to have a significant effect on the future of her country.  For a promising future, the country must maintain rights and opportunities for women. We are confident that Tunisia’s future will be improved by our dynamic Fellowship class.

In the Miami Herald recently, freedom advocate Carlos Montaner describes how the Castro regime exploits its people in exchange for the resources needed to maintain power. Montaner, an exiled Cuban author and journalist who was imprisoned by the regime as a teenager, is one of many freedom advocates featured in the Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection.

As the world remembers actress and activist Shirley Temple this week, Bush Center Editorial Director Bill McKenzie recalls meeting her on more than one occasion. “She could have been a haughty movie star and political figure, but she majored in being down to earth,” he writes for The Dallas Morning News. McKenzie describes her passion for developing nations and human freedom through her work as U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia under President George H.W. Bush, among other political roles.