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7 Things You Should Read about Women and Afghanistan

More than a decade after the collapse of a Taliban led government that radically altered the definition of public life, Afghanistan remains a tough place to live. It’s even tougher for women—female illiteracy and a lack of access to formal education remain significant barriers to social progress. The Obama administration’s National Action Plan for women’s inclusion in the country offers a path forward—but it is only one part of the solution. For systemic change to truly occur, we need to listen to the women in the country working to push their country in a new direction. In preparation for our May 28th event, Contested Terrain: The Future of Afghan Women, here are 7 things you need to read on the subject. You can see livestream video of the event below, and in case you missed it, a recorded version will be made available at the conclusion of the event. 

A Step Forward For Afghan Women By Elizabeth Weingarten and Leila Hilal, Foreign Policy

Afghanistan’s about to launch a plan that will promote the role of women in peacemaking. It took a lot of hard work to convince men that women should play an equal role, and the battle isn’t over yet.

My Terrifying Night With Afghanistan’s Only Female Warlord By Jen Percy, The New Republic

Author Jen Percy travels to Afghanistan and gets trapped with Afghanistan's only female warlord because of a snowstorm.

Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry By Eliza Griswold, The New York Times Magazine

A secret female literary society in Kabul help women cope with the destruction and lack of opportunity in the country, as well as allowing them to express themselves.

The Underground Girls of Kabul- By Emily Schneider, Foreign Policy 

There is a movement in Afghanistan to resist the country’s deeply ingrained gender norms that treat women poorly of young girls who dress as boys.

Entrepreneurial Afghan Women Changing Perceptions By Matthew Hillburn, Voice of America

Women experience new opportunities after the fall of the Taliban by running their own businesses, which gives them control over their family and their own future.

Afghanistan’s Missing Link: Women Leaders By Sally Kitch, Foreign Policy

Afghan women can't be left out of the negotiations concerning the future of Afghanistan. Both President Obama and President Ghani need to address the historic role of the United States in perpetuating the abject status of Afghan women.

Is There Hope for Afghanistan’s Other Daughters? Leela Jacinto, Foreign Policy

The latest round of convictions in the brutal public murder of an Afghan woman was mob justice -- not real change.