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In Case You Missed It: Brussels Conference discusses the importance of empowering Afghan women
This week marked the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, co-hosted by the European Union and the government of Afghanistan. The Conference brought together more than 70 countries and 20 international organizations and agencies to discuss Afghanistan’s new national development framework, ongoing reform efforts, and regional activities to support peace and economic cooperation. Donors pledged over $15 billion in aid at the Conference, signaling a commitment to Afghanistan’s future by the international community.
A vital part of that future is the political, social, and economic empowerment of Afghan women. During the Conference, a side event titled “Empowered Women, Prosperous Afghanistan” focused on the political and human rights of Afghan women, as well as socio-economic empowerment. The panelists discussed positive developments in country as well as enduring challenges faced by Afghan women and girls. Participants also outlined the Afghan government’s plans for increasing women’s participation in society and the economy.
As Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission noted, “The empowerment of women is not only a matter of human rights and social justice; it is also about development; it is about human growth; it’s about security; it is about fulfilling the potential of Afghanistan.” Continued investment in Afghanistan means continued investment in Afghan women, a prerequisite for a strong and stable country ready to build on its successes and face its challenges.
For more on Afghan women leading change, check out the Bush Institute’s Afghan Women’s Project.
Farhat Popal serves as the Manager of the Women’s Initiative Fellowship and the Afghan Women’s Project at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Farhat is responsible for research and programmatic efforts that empower women worldwide to lead in their communities and countries.
Farhat studied Political Science/International Relations and History of the Near East at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the Bush Institute, she worked on human rights programs in Afghanistan and Central Asia at the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in Washington, DC, and evaluated reconstruction projects in Afghanistan with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. While with SIGAR, she spent considerable time conducting field work at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. In addition to her international work, Farhat evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of local government programs at the City of San Diego and City of Oakland’s Offices of the City Auditor.Full Bio
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.
Global Leadership: A Look Back At 2017
As we celebrate 2017, we reflect on some of the top moments from the Bush Institute's Global Leadership Impact Center, home to the Human Freedom initiative, Women's Initiative, and Global Health initiative.
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.
The Breadwinner, a new animated film from executive producer Angelina Jolie, tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her, and ultimately risks her life to discover if he is still alive. The Breadwinner is an inspiring reminder of the power of stories, and their potential to unite and heal us all. It also provides an important spotlight on the struggle endured by Afghan families during the Taliban regime and the resilience of women and girls and their influence in building a brighter future for Afghanistan. Last year, the Bush Institute released We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope, which spotlights more of these courageous stories of Afghan women. Learn more about the book and our work by visiting:&nb