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We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope
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On March 8, the George W. Bush Institute will release its latest book, We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope.With an introduction by Mrs. Laura Bush, the book highlights the stories of extraordinarily resilient women and their struggles, successes, and resolve in present-day Afghanistan.
Published by Scribner, We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope is a compilation of stories from 28 inspiring women and one brave man. It provides portraits of a host of accomplished Afghan women from all walks of life, including educators, business owners, politicians, midwives, artists, and advocates.
It is important for those of us around the world, both women and men, to stop and listen to Afghanistan’s women. How can we help change the lives of women in Afghanistan? The women in these pages have their own thoughtful answers. By listening, we also have a chance to learn.
Since 2001, enrollment of Afghan girls in primary schools has increased from 5,000 to 2.5 million. As access to education increases, women are taking their places as leaders in the economy and in politics. The women in the book illustrate this progress: they have persevered through harsh circumstances and contributed positive change to their nation. The successes for Afghan women are real, but so are the challenges. The women sharing their stories capture both in vivid, poignant, and powerful detail, and they challenge the world to listen.
For more than a decade, Mrs. Bush has led efforts through the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council to protect the hard-earned rights of women in that country. As First Lady, she made three trips to Afghanistan and in 2001 she delivered the President’s weekly radio address – a first for a First Lady – to direct international attention to the Taliban’s oppression of women. She continues her work through the Bush Institute’s Afghan Women’s Project, which supports effective programs in Afghanistan and highlights the success of Afghan women by sharing their stories.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center will celebrate the book release on International Women’s Day, March 8, by hosting a poignant conversation moderated by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren between Mrs. Bush and an Afghan woman featured in the new book. The event will mark the start of a brief book tour by Mrs. Bush in the week that follows.
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.
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