Mrs. Laura Bush: ‘Free people around the world must stand with Afghan women’

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Laura W. Bush

We must remember the remarkable resiliency that Afghan women have shown over the past two decades. They have taken great steps to improve the quality of life in their country.

Mrs. Laura Bush:

Twenty years ago, the spotlight turned on Afghanistan and the world saw what happens in a country where half of the population is left out. Women couldn’t leave their homes without a male escort. They weren’t allowed to work outside their homes or make their own choices. Girls couldn’t go to school.

 Since then, the United States has stood in solidarity with Afghan women and girls. Thanks to the courage and dedication of Afghan women, and the many organizations that have supported them, hard won progress has been made.

Today, Afghan women contribute to the economy and society in many ways. They run businesses and they obtain advanced degrees. They support their families and their communities. They teach their sons and their daughters that they are equal.  

But the safety and the rights of Afghan women and girls are at serious risk. The devastating attack on the Sayed Ul-Shuhada girls school in Kabul reminds us of a time when women were targeted and terrorized. 

Afghanistan needs our support. Our investments in the days ahead will affect the Afghan people for decades to come. Free people around the world must stand with Afghan women. There are many organizations that support Afghan women and children in education, health, and economic opportunity. As our troops leave Afghanistan, these programs are needed more than ever.