Why Women?

Afghan women are natural allies in the US-led efforts to achieve a political solution to Afghanistan’s conflict, transition security responsibilities to Afghan forces, and stem extremist fundamentalism. They have the most to lose from the Taliban resuming sole control and therefore are highly invested in stabilizing insecure areas and strengthening the central government and civil society.

Since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, Afghan women have mobilized time and again to ensure women’s perspectives on peace and security are addressed in both domestic and international decision making. Their leadership inspired confidence in inclusive governance among Afghans and has paved the way for other minorities and marginalized groups to challenge the political elite and vie for a place in key political events. Women’s inclusion also widened discussions beyond zero-sum politics and has brought to the fore human rights and social and humanitarian concerns. Most importantly, the participation of women has been crucial to countering extremist narratives.

Our Focus

  • Supporting the creation of a more inclusive reconciliation process that engages a broad range of Afghan stakeholders, particularly women, in defining a sustainable political solution to the conflict
  • Increasing the recruitment and retention of women in the Afghan National Security Forces
  • Advancing women’s involvement in the planning of security operations
  • Promoting women-led monitoring of the development of Afghan security forces and the transition of security authority from US-led coalition forces to the Afghan government

Recent Blog Posts

Creating an Enabling Environment for Inclusion: The Role of Traditional Leadership

Network Member Responds to New York Times Article on Afghan Policewomen

#CRomnibus: 5 Ways Congress Advanced Women’s Leadership That You May Not Know

Meet Farishta Sakhi, Colloquium Alumna from Afghanistan

The Latest Country to Adopt a Women, Peace, and Security Policy May Surprise You

Featured Women Waging Peace Network Member

Believing fiercely in the potential of girls and women, Suraya Pakzad embodies her own conviction. Her work to protect women and girls and her advocacy for their rights puts her in constant danger from extremists within Afghanistan’s traditional society. Read more »