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

Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Vote: A Canary in the Presidential Poll Mine

Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Vote: A Canary in the Presidential Poll Mine

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

By: Scott Worden; Belquis Ahmadi

There is a palpable sense of anticipation in Kabul days before parliamentary elections will be held. Blast walls, billboards and powerline poles are plastered with the campaign posters of the hopeful candidates. With 800 candidates competing for 33 seats in Kabul, winning a seat in the province will be challenge. The possibility of successful electoral process nationally is equally daunting, however, as poor security, delayed preparations and the last-minute introduction of electronic voter verification machines (in a country with spotty electricity) make pulling off a credible vote a real gamble.

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence

Afghanistan’s Economic Development Hinges on the Peace Process

Afghanistan’s Economic Development Hinges on the Peace Process

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

By: William Byrd

Breaking out of Afghanistan’s current economic stagnation, rising unemployment, and poverty will only be possible if there is strong, sustained progress toward durable peace and political stability. Lowering security costs and, over time, reducing the extremely high aid dependency is the only way for the country to move toward balancing its budget books.

Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance

Johnny Walsh on Peace in Afghanistan

Johnny Walsh on Peace in Afghanistan

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

By: Johnny Walsh

Despite the Taliban’s failure to accept the Kabul government’s offer of another cease-fire this week, Johnny Walsh says that a political solution to the Afghanistan war is the best alternative to the current military stalemate. Even absent a cease-fire, hope remains that the peace process can move forward in 2018.

Democracy & Governance

View All Publications