Afghan Women: Do They Still Matter?

Afghan Women: Do They Still Matter?

The Arizona State University Council for Arabic and Islamic Studies presents the spring 2018 Annual Lecture Series.

Today's lecture, "Afghan Women: Do They Still Matter?," will be presented by Regents' Professor Sally Kitch.

In 2001, the Western world was riveted on the plight of Afghan women. After suffering the draconian rule of the Taliban for five years, the United States government was promising to liberate them and to demonstrate that its war on terrorism was “also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.” After sixteen years of military engagement by the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, such attention has waned.

To mention just one example, ASU's own John McCain Institute for International Leadership, which sponsors a leadership training program for women from around the world, omitted Afghanistan from the list of countries they were particularly targeting for applicants in 2018. 

Professor Sally Kitch’s consideration of the continued significance of Afghan women to on-going relations between the West and Muslim nations will include a discussion of her thirteen-year relationship with two Afghan women leaders and the book that emerged from her analysis of that relationship, Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders. 

There is still much to learn from the failure of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and its aftermath, as there is from the distressing history of America’s policies towards Afghan women over decades. Those lessons not only inform future American foreign policy and relationships to Muslim societies but also gender issues in the United States.

Dr. Souad T. Ali
Life Sciences Building E, room 106
Free and open to all ASU students, staff, faculty and the public