Promoting Women's Rights
Preserving and Expanding Legal and Societal Gains
“The future of a democratic and stable Afghanistan depends on how gains on human rights and women's empowerment are protected, and how the country's political processes and institutions are safeguarded to be inclusive and representative…
The United States can and should ensure that women are substantively involved in the peace process and that their rights are preserved moving forward.”
Excerpt of a letter sent to the White House by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Tammy Baldwin – also signed by several other U.S. Senators – on March 30, 2021.
The DPPC stands with the current Parliament of Afghanistan, which is committed to promoting and developing women’s rights.
Women in Afghanistan are making progress on a worldwide scale in all sectors, including business, politics, and science.
A 2020 survey released by the Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry points towards a growing trend of female entrepreneurship in Afghanistan.
There are nearly 60,000 women-owned businesses throughout the country that are responsible for creating over 130,000 jobs, including over 100,000 jobs for women.
In 2020, the Afghan Dreamers, a robotics team of six teen girls, built a cost-effective ventilator in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notable women who have thrived under a democracy include Robina Muqimyar and Friba Razayee, the first two Afghan women to compete in the Olympics; Roya Mahboob, one of Afghanistan’s first female chief executives; and Naheed Farid, one of the youngest elected MPs in Afghanistan’s history.
The Digital Citizen Fund
The freedom and rights of women in Afghanistan are not just essential because of this talent and strength, but because women and girls deserve to live without restriction and fear.
Women’s rights in the last twenty years have been substantial. Although there have been many successes, there is still so much work to be done to ensure these freedoms continue, especially in rural areas. Concerns are growing about their permanence amid the withdrawal of US and NATO forces, with the future of women’s rights reliant on peace talks. Without external support, the progress of the past twenty years may be halted or reversed.
“If you gain something, you will fight for it. You will not give it up easily. No one can take it from you...I’m so hopeful that even with this civil war, with this fight, with this level of brutality and bloodshed that is going on in Afghanistan, women of Afghanistan won’t give up.”
Naheed Farid, in an interview with The Hill
The DPPC makes the following recommendations to preserve and promote the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, following a negotiated peace settlement:
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) is the last line of defense to protect the gains of women and girls. ANSDF must be provided with sufficient training, equipment, and contractors to continue their work.
There must be meaningful participation of women in the intra-Afghan talks and in the implementation of any potential peace agreement.
Any changes in a future constitution to further women’s rights and liberties must reflect the perspective of Afghan women.
Humanitarian and development assistance towards the support of women and girls must be generous, making any future aid conditional upon certifying these gains.