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. 

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #BipartisanUSIP.

You can read a transcript of the event here


Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA)
U.S. Representative from California

Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)
U.S. Representative from Alabama 

The Honorable Nancy Lindborg, moderator
President & CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace


Related Publications

Displacement and the Vulnerability to Mobilize for Violence: Evidence from Afghanistan

Displacement and the Vulnerability to Mobilize for Violence: Evidence from Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

By: Sadaf Lakhani; Rahmatullah Amiri

Forced displacement affects over 70 million people worldwide and is among the most pressing humanitarian and development challenges today. This report attempts to ascertain whether a relationship exists between displacement in Afghanistan and vulnerability to recruitment to violence by militant organizations. The report leverages an understanding of this relationship to provide recommendations to government, international donors, and others working with Afghanistan’s displaced populations to formulate more effective policies and programs.

Type: Peaceworks

Violent Extremism

What ‘The Afghanistan Papers’ Got Wrong

What ‘The Afghanistan Papers’ Got Wrong

Thursday, December 19, 2019

By: Scott Smith

The Washington Post last week published a series, “The Afghanistan Papers,” that made the case that U.S. officials consistently lied about the prospects for success in Afghanistan and deliberately misled the public. As someone with an intimate knowledge of the effort described in the reporting, there is a recurring line I find particularly problematic: that officials hid “unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” That was not the problem. The problem was that for so long many officials believed that the war was winnable.

Type: Blog

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

View All Publications