Afghan women have come a long way over the last decade. We have made significant achievements, many of which would have not been possible without the generous support of the international community, especially the United States.
Just when the success of the election process seemed to be in doubt, US Secretary of State John Kerry went to Afghanistan to once again play a mediator’s role, meeting with the two presidential candidates and with outgoing president Hamid Karzai to help broker a solution to the disputed election process.
Over seven million Afghans, or 58 percent of the population, successfully voted in the runoff presidential election on Saturday, despite several attacks from the Taliban at polling centers.
Afghan women's groups Thursday held a press conference announcing that both of the presidential front-runners had signed a six-point petition for women's rights.
The remaining troops will help train and advise Afghan security forces, as well as assist in counter-terrorism operations.
Afghan girls are once again attending school, at the primary secondary, and university levels, and they are proving that if given opportunities, they can thrive.
We made it. We were able to show to the world that our security forces are robust enough to protect our infant democracy and our people remain worthy of international support.
Preliminary results for Afghanistan's recent presidential election were released on Saturday, showing that former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister and World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai are the top contenders.
I remember the morning I woke up to the sounds of gunfire and bombs. I remember the morning when I was trying to get ready for school and my father said I couldn’t go any more.
Maryam Koofi, a member of Afghanistan's Parliament, was wounded in a shooting yesterday.
The Afghan Independent Commission (IEC) estimates that at least one-third of Afghan voters on Saturday were women.
The elections represent a pivotal moment in the history of Afghanistan, which will conduct its first democratic transition of presidential power once the vote is complete.
"My family decided to move back to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. After we returned, I remained committed to working to improve Afghan women’s lives."
There was some concern last summer that there would not be enough women security officers to work at the polling stations set aside for women, but the government has now surpassed its recruitment goal.
" I owe my achievements both to Jaghori resistance to the Taliban and to the U.S. and NATO presence in Afghanistan, which protected my right to an education, and continues to help secure this right for all Afghan women and girls."
"Even with all of the progress in Afghanistan, I still have nightmares when I think about those dark days of the Taliban regime."
Dr. Nasrin, a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology, operated an underground women's health clinic in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, providing urgently needed maternal health services, including emergency obstetric care.
Stressing that the Afghan people, especially women’s groups, are curious to know the candidate’s views on violence against women and other forms of discrimination against women, the debate moderator asked the candidates for their views on the importance of women’s role in society and in the economic development of Afghanistan.
"If the world could only see through our eyes," Koofi writes, "they might get a glimpse of the fact that Afghan women have come a long way over the last decade."
This is a victory for Afghan women who have been fighting for better enforcement of laws that make violence against women a crime – including rape, domestic assault, honor killings, child marriage, and baad, the practice of resolving disputes by giving away one’s daughters.