On July 18th, the U.S. Institute of Peace and USAID hosted an expert panel, which highlighted efforts made by multilateral actors within the U.S. Government and internationally, in ensuring a commitment to the empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Securing-Future-
Panel left to right: Rangina Hamidi, Naheed Farid, Hossai Wardak, WIlliam Byrd, Palwasha Kakar

Research repeatedly shows that no nation can achieve sustainable peace, reconciliation, stability, and economic growth when half the population is marginalized. USAID and the U.S. Institute of Peace are fully committed to removing constraints on women’s potential -- their contributions to Afghan society are imperative to lasting peace, stability and economic progress. This event took stock of progress thus far, of on-going commitments to the needs of women and girls, and explored the potential impact of new programming and partnerships beyond the political and security transitions in 2014.

This event coincided with the release of the USAID Request for Proposal, "Promote," a five year program for women's empowerment in Afghanistan.

Agenda and Biographies

Welcome and Introductions:

  • Jim Marshall
    President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Keynote Speaker:

  • Rajiv Shah
    USAID Administrator

Followed by a panel including:

  • Carla Koppell, Moderator
    Chief Strategy Officer, Former Senior Coordinator on Gender, USAID
  • Kathleen Kuehnast, Panel Introductions
    Director, Center for Gender & Peacebuilding, USIP
  • William Byrd
    Afghanistan Senior Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Naheed Farid
    Member of the Afghan Parliament
  • Rangina Hamidi
    Founder, Kandahar Treasure
  • Palwasha Kakar
    Director of Women's Empowerment and Development Programs, The Asia Foundation
  • Hossai Wardak
    Afghanistan Visiting Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

A Foot Forward for Peace in Afghanistan?

A Foot Forward for Peace in Afghanistan?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

By: Scott Smith

Taliban and Afghan representatives agreed early this week to a basic, albeit non-binding, roadmap for intra-Afghan negotiations aimed at ending the 18-year war. Since the U.S. resumed direct talks with the Taliban last September, the two sides have focused on the withdrawal of foreign forces and the steps the Taliban will take against terrorists on Afghan soil. Meanwhile, intra-Afghan talks on a political roadmap have yet to get off the ground. After months of seeming stasis, this week’s Doha meeting has injected renewed hope. USIP’s Scott Smith looks at what happened this week, what it means for Afghan women, and the next steps in the peace process.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

Amid a Spike in Violence, Have Afghan Peace Talks Lost Momentum?

Amid a Spike in Violence, Have Afghan Peace Talks Lost Momentum?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

By: Johnny Walsh

After rapid progress in early 2019, the Afghan peace process has seemingly slowed. The U.S. chief negotiator, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, said in May that his negotiations with the Taliban were making slow but steady progress, but there has been little headway in starting talks among the various Afghan parties. Meanwhile, violence has ratcheted up, as typically occurs in the spring and summer in Afghanistan. The country’s overdue presidential polls are scheduled for late September, further complicating efforts to achieve peace. Can talks succeed amid the violence and political discord? Will the elections drain momentum from the peace process? USIP’s Johnny Walsh looks at the Afghan peace process ahead of the next round of talks in late June.

Peace Processes

Women in Conflict: Advancing Women’s Role in Peace and Security

Women in Conflict: Advancing Women’s Role in Peace and Security

Thursday, June 13, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

Palwasha Kakar, senior program officer for religion and inclusive societies, testified on June 13 at the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues' hearing on "Women in Conflict: Advancing Women's Role in Peace and Security.” Her expert testimony as prepared is presented below.

Gender; Peace Processes

Perspectives on Peace from Taliban Areas of Afghanistan

Perspectives on Peace from Taliban Areas of Afghanistan

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

By: Ashley Jackson

Notably absent from the debate around peace in Afghanistan are the voices of those living in parts of the country that have borne the brunt of the fighting since 2001—particularly those living in areas under Taliban control or influence. This report provides insight into how Afghan men and women in Taliban-influenced areas view the prospects for peace, what requirements would have to be met for local Taliban fighters to lay down their arms, and how views on a political settlement and a future government differ between Taliban fighters and civilians.

Reconciliation

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