Afghan women have made vast progress since the US ousted the Taliban from power in 2001. According to the Afghan ministry of education, female literacy which didn’t exist under the Taliban has now tripled with 42 percent of girls enrolled in schools across the country. Afghanistan’s constitution reserves 27 percent of seats for women in the parliament. There were a total of 417 female candidates campaigning for a seat in the 250-member parliament in October 2018.
According to reports by Tolonews, Quartz, and Irish Examiner, now that the peace talks between the US and Taliban are underway in Qatar, women’s rights are not a high priority in the negotiations.
In this episode of For the Record, we talk to the executive director of the Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan). The organization advocates for women’s education, promotion of social justice, ending women’s oppression, and improving conditions of human rights in Afghanistan.
According to the group, the Afghan constitution protects women against discrimination, and that it has to be fully respected.
“Afghanistan has actually made tremendous progress in the last decade and a half. So it’s not like nothing is at stake there are many important changes that are on such stake, and people have gotten used to those changes, and I don’t think they’ll be willing to give them up.” Lauryn Otes, Executive Director, CW4WAfghan