- By P.J. Aroon
Secretary Clinton met with four female Afghan government ministers yesterday and made a pledge to the women of Afghanistan: "We will not abandon you. We will stand with you always."
The Afghan government is planning to reconcile with and reintegrate "moderate" Taliban, and many Afghan women are understandably concerned that women’s rights will be even more sidelined. Clinton reassured them:
It is essential that women’s rights and women’s opportunities are not sacrificed or trampled on in the reconciliation process.
And Clinton restated that message in her discussion with Afghan President Hamid Karzai later in the day when she listed the conditions that Taliban members would have to meet to reconcile or reintegrate. In addition to saying that they must abide Afghanistan’s laws and Constitution, renounce violence, and cut ties with al Qaeda and its extremist allies, Clinton said, "[O]n a personal note, they must respect women’s rights."
Let’s hope this move to reconcile with and reintegrate "moderate" Taliban doesn’t end up being a step backward for Afghan women.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |