Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls Tina Tchen, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Rosa Brooks, and Director of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Task Force at USAID Jim Bever on June 9 participated in a State Department hosted roundtable discussion on Women in Afghanistan. The roundtable brought together members of civil society, officials from across government, and Members of Congress who have been leading voices in support of Afghan women.
The discussion centered on achievements reached by Afghan women in various sectors, including health, education, rule of law, and governance. The need for civilian-military coordination that can address both security as well as long term stability and economic development was a theme throughout the discussion.
Participants also included Co-founder of Women for Women International Ms. Zainab Salbi and Rona Kabiri, a Fulbright Scholar from Afghanistan. The panel was moderated by Margaret McKean, Senior Executive Assistant in the office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Members of Congress in attendance - Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY), Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA) – each expressed their strong commitment to working to empower women in Afghanistan.
“Today’s discussion is an unprecedented look at how we can combine forces – defense, development and diplomacy –to achieve shared goals for a more peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan that puts women at the center of our efforts,” said Salbi.
Several Afghan women also shared their personal stories about how U.S. involvement in Afghanistan has improved their lives.
“This was a rare opportunity for me, as an Afghan women, to be part about the positive results of the U.S. government’s investment in the women of Afghanistan,” said Kabiri. “These discussions are especially helpful in making sure we are all working together to empower Afghan women.”