But “extreme forms of discrimination remain part of the day-to-day experience of most Afghan women, and violence against women is common and largely unpunished,” according to a recent Human Rights Watch report. “Half of all girls are still not in school and female literacy remains extremely low. Child marriage and forced marriage are common, with 39 percent of girls married before age 18.”
Many Afghan women have expressed concerns about both the departure of U.S. troops and reports of peace negotiations that could allot the Taliban some measure of political power, particularly in southern Afghanistan, the group’s homeland.
USAID has announced a 5-year, $200 million program to address Afghan women’s concerns. Read more here.