First Ladies, feminism, Afghanistan, and permanent war

Below is a web page recovered from
on 2016-08-29
The original, 2010, State Department URL was
I (KHarbaugh) copied part of this web page into my blog back in 2010,
in my post on Wars of feminist aggression.

Remarks With Afghan Women Ministers Before Their Meeting
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Treaty Room

Washington, DC

May 13, 2010

Well, first, let me welcome the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and the Disabled, Minister Afzali.
Let me welcome the acting Minister of Health, Dr. Dalil.
And let me welcome the Director of Gender and Human Rights in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Osman.

I am delighted to be meeting with these women
because the Afghan Government has made very important contributions and commitments
to the dialogue between our two countries.
And at every step along the way,
the roles and rights of women has been remembered and included.
We know that women are central to long-term stability
and our strategy to promote security, good governance, and economic and social development inside Afghanistan.

The United States will continue to target assistance to women
in areas ranging from girls’ education,
to better health services, particularly maternal health,
to protecting women from violence,
to enhancing their roles in agriculture and the economy.

I appreciate the fact that many women in Afghanistan are concerned about
what reintegration and reconciliation will mean for them.
It is essential –
I have said this in London, I have said this in the United States,
I will say this again at the Kabul conference –
it is essential that women’s rights and women’s opportunities
are not sacrificed or trampled on in the reconciliation process.
I pledged to President Karzai that we would not abandon Afghanistan
in its quest for peace and long-term stability, and we will not.

And I make the same pledge to the women of Afghanistan.
We will not abandon you.
We will stand with you always.

I am so impressed and admiring of the contributions
that women have made in all of Afghanistan’s history,
but particularly in recent history and especially in the last years.
And I will be their partner and their supporter
as they continue to make improvements in their lives
and the lives of their children and families.
Thank you very much.

PRN: 2010/612

Laura Bush on Afghan women, U.S. interests
interview of Laura Bush by Susan Page
USA Today, 2016-03-17

Former first lady Laura Bush has written the introduction for a new book,
"We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope", published this month by Scribner.
She sat down this week with USA TODAY’s Capital Download to discuss why she hopes
the United States will maintain a troop presence
and continue reconstruction aid in Afghanistan
despite the public’s weariness about America’s longest war.

Q: There’s no shortage of causes that vie to get the attention of the first lady.
The cause of Afghan women and girls
is something you adopted weeks after the 9/11 attacks
and have kept up for the 15 years since then.

A: Because they needed help, I think.
I think American women were shocked after Sept. 11
when the spotlight turned on Afghanistan
and we saw a country where women were brutalized, really, and were marginalized.
And what we saw in a country where half of the population is left out,
is a failed country.
And that’s what Afghanistan was. ...

Q: Last October, President Obama changed course
and decided to keep a significant number of U.S. troops there.
You thank him for that.

A: Yes, I think that’s really important —
that we give them that stability
that security forces there give them
as they try to build their country.

Q: What would have happened?

A: I think they would have been set back.
I think it would be very, very difficult for Afghanistan, like it has been for Iraq.
And I think things that have happened in Iraq would start to happen there.

Q: Things like?

A: Still brutal attacks by the Taliban. They’re not gone.
What happens when we stay there is
we just give them the security
that allows them the stability
to be able to form the institutions
that they have to form to support a democracy. ...


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