Following the suspension of U.S.-Taliban talks last month, and with many fearing the U.S. might leave Afghanistan with or without a peace deal, it is more crucial than ever to preserve the significant improvements made since 2001 in Afghan women’s education, advocacy, economic empowerment, and political engagement. The freedoms Afghan women experience today resulted in large part from coalition involvement, and from human capital investment in women and girls. As international forces draw down, a pivotal question will be whether the U.S. remains committed to safeguarding these hard-earned advancements.
On October 18, Rep. Susan Davis and Rep. Martha Roby reflected on important progress made by and for Afghan women within the domestic, civic, military, and political spheres, which they have highlighted in annual congressional delegations to Afghanistan over the past 12 years. Afghan women have expressed their sense of empowerment, resilience, and determination as they have gained influence over this period. They have also emphasized the challenges they face in securing their critical role in the future development of their country. Rep. Davis and Rep. Roby, who recently led a bipartisan member delegation to Afghanistan in May 2019, reflected on the past, present, and future of the country.
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You can read a transcript of the event here.