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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Since the emergence of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, the situation of Afghan women has been a prominent issue in media and policy. This chapter analyzes the complex and contested role of women’s rights in Afghanistan since the US military-led intervention. Beginning with a review of justifications for the intervention—based in part on the situation of Afghan women—the chapter details and critiques the legislative and constitutional changes brought about by the intervention and the subsequent backlash against increased freedoms. As the international community shifted to prioritize security and stability over women’s rights, it illustrates the abandonment of Afghan women in favor of the possibility of negotiations with the Taliban. The chapter calls for greater involvement of women in peace processes and a genuine commitment to women’s rights by both the government and the international community. It closes with recommendations for other countries in transition.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Afghan women, Taliban, security, women’s rights, international community

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