For nearly two decades, the U.S. government has sought to advance Afghan women’s rights and opportunities. Since the 2001 removal of the Taliban regime, Afghan women and girls have made substantial gains, especially in access to education and health care, and participation in the public sphere. Yet this progress has been fragile and uneven, and it is unclear whether peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban will protect women’s rights and access to services. Today, U.S. policymakers face a critical question: How can the United States best promote gender equality in Afghanistan — in the midst of conflict, poverty, a global pandemic, and the prospect of an Afghan government in which the Taliban exerts considerable influence?
On February 17, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings hosted Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko for a keynote address on the release of the new SIGAR report, “Support for Gender Equality: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan.” A discussion facilitated by Brookings President John R. Allen and a panel conversation with distinguished analysts and practitioners followed Mr. Sopko’s remarks.
After their remarks, panelists took questions from the audience. Viewers submitted questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter using #AfghanWomen.