“As the process of U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan continues over the coming months, it is essential that the Biden administration ensures that Afghan women are part of the peace process and that every issue in the negotiations is analyzed with an eye towards gender equality and women’s rights.”
Stephenie Foster, with decades of firsthand experience with women’s leadership in Afghan society, having served at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, writes on the role of women’s rights and its role in Afghan peace. In the article, Foster points to three important actions that will ensure sustainable peace in which women’s rights are preserved and fostered. First, that women participate in the peace talks, citing emblematic leaders like Fawzua Koofi, a member of the Afghan Parliament. Foster notes that when women are engaged in peace processes, peace agreements are 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years. Second, officials at the highest levels must be laser-focused on the result of peace negotiations that preserve the hard-won women’s rights. This includes diplomatic and developmental support for women in civil society, media, and education – like AUAF. Third and finally, Foster notes the importance of including gender analysis in the peace talks, considering differing policy impacts across genders.