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Women and the Future of Democracy in Afghanistan: The Work of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council

Recorded on October 18, 2005

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In September 2005, Afghan women made history by turning out to vote at polling stations in schools, mosques, and tents, defying a Taliban boycott call and militant attacks to vote for a new parliament. Afghan women played a prominent role in this election - as both candidates and voters - taking a critical step in starting a democracy. Women have made enormous progress in post-Taliban society, but many Americans are unaware of the role that public-private partnerships play in setting the stage for democracy. As part of the rebuilding of Afghanistan in the post-Taliban era, President Bush and President Karzai established the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council in January 2002. The Council works to advance women's roles and opportunities in a new and free Afghanistan. A public-private partnership, the Council focuses on four key areas: Political Participation and Legal Reform, Economic Empowerment, Education, and Health.

You are invited to meet the three co-chairs of the USAWC - Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Abdullah and Minister of Women's Affairs Masuda Jalal - to learn more about their efforts to strengthen democracy in Afghanistan today.