Clinton Opposes Afghan Peace That Ignores Women's Rights

March 22, 2012
By

Any peace deal in Afghanistan that excludes women or tries to roll back their rights is doomed to fail, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. Speaking at an event yesterday in Washington marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, Clinton pledged the U.S. will defend the advances Afghan women have made since the fall of the Taliban. Any peace deal that may emerge from exploratory talks with insurgents must abide by the Afghan constitution, which enshrines rights for women, she said.

“We will not waver on this point,” Clinton assured guests at the event, including Afghan officials and U.S. business leaders who have supported programs for Afghan women. A peace agreement “excluding more than half the population is no peace at all. It’s a figment that will not last,” she said to applause.

Clinton cited a list of achievements for women since the fall of the Taliban, from most basic health and social indicators to accomplishments in politics and industry. The average life expectancy for Afghan women in 2001 was 44; now it is 62, Clinton said. Back then, girls were prohibited from attending government schools; now, almost 3 million do, representing a third of primary and secondary school students, she said. She said 100,000 have graduated from high school, and 15,000 enrolled in universities in the last decade.

Still, Afghan women activists and some in the U.S. government have expressed concern that the Afghan government, in its desire to take insurgents off the battlefield and end the war, might bend to Taliban demands to curtail women’s advances. Under the Taliban in the 1990s, Afghan women were largely prevented from attending school, holding jobs, participating in government or leaving home without male escorts.

Read more: Bloomberg

Comments are closed.

Follow The Feminist Wire

Arts & Culture

  • Remembering and Honoring Toni Cade Bambara Sanchez

    Sonia Sanchez: What are we pretending not to know today? The premise as you said, my sister, being that colored people on planet earth really know everything there is to know. And if one is not coming to grips with the knowledge, it must mean that one is either scared or pretending to be stupid.

  • Hunger Kwame Laughing Foto

    They say you had the eye; they say you saw
    into people. They say you came before as shaman
    or bruja and returned as priestess; they say you were
    stonebreaker. But for me, you were a big sister
    feeling for a lonely brother with no language
    to lament, and you gave me more days, and
    more days. Yes, they could have called you
    Grace, Bambara; they could have called you that.

  • Stroller (A Screenplay) Black families and community

    Roxana Walker-Canton: Natalie sits in her own seat in front of her mother and looks out the window. Mostly WHITE PEOPLE get on and off the bus now. The bus rides through a neighborhood of single family homes. A BLACK WOMAN with TWO WHITE CHILDREN get on the bus. Natalie stares at the children.

Princeton University Post Doc: Apply Now!