Thanks to cultural norms that go back further than just the iron grip of the Taliban, equal rights have been out of reach for women in Afghanistan. What to us seem like inalienable rights, women there don't have access to a formal education, can't leave their home unless accompanied by a male relative, and are required to wear a burqa in public. Not to mention, domestic violence runs rampant within Afghan borders. In fact, a recent report claimed that conditions have gotten worse for female Afghans over the past year (opens in new tab).
Now, Afghanistan's president-elect wants the Middle Eastern nation to regard gender equality as more of a priority (opens in new tab) than it ever has been before. This week, Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai made a lofty promise: To bring equal rights to the nation's female citizens. During his victory speech on Monday, Ghani Ahmadzai vowed that Afghan women are pivotal in writing the nation's next chapter. "In the face of these girls I can see future Afghan leaders," He said, grasping hands with his country(wo)men.
The leader-to-be was specific about how he plans to improve the lives of Afghan women. He wants to see them taking on high level positions in the nation's government, even in the Supreme Court, a role an Afghan woman has never held before. With a past political record that includes an assassination attempt on a female member of parliament, that's an ambitious (but much needed) objective. Despite the country's past, Ghani Ahmadzai's forward thinking is probably a product of his worldly experiences—he has previously held posts at the World Bank and is well educated, with a PhD from Columbia University. His intentions may be in good faith, but the world will be watching to see whether or not this vow will play out in a productive manner.
Photo via Getty Images
I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.
'Stranger Things' Season 5: Everything We Know
The Netflix hit is coming back for one final season.
By Quinci LeGardye
14 Abortion Rights Organizations Accepting Donations to Support Their Fight
'Roe' is no longer the law of the land, but these organizations won't stop fighting.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
All of the Best Fourth of July Fashion Sales
Let the savings begin.
By Julia Marzovilla
30 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, show them these statistics.
By Megan Friedman
Her Love of Basketball Left Her Stateless
One athlete’s quest for freedom from Afghanistan, where the Taliban's restrictive and regressive policies on women's sports put her life in danger.
By Abigail Pesta
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein
Want to Fight for Abortion Rights in Texas? Raise Your Voice to State Legislators
Emily Cain, executive director of EMILY's List and and former Minority Leader in Maine, says that to stop the assault on reproductive rights, we need to start demanding more from our state legislatures.
By Emily Cain
Your Abortion Questions, Answered
Here, MC debunks common abortion myths you may be increasingly hearing since Texas' near-total abortion ban went into effect.
By Rachel Epstein
The Future of Afghan Women and Girls Depends on What We Do Next
Between the U.S. occupation and the Taliban, supporting resettlement for Afghan women and vulnerable individuals is long overdue.
By Rona Akbari
How to Help Afghanistan Refugees and Those Who Need Aid
With the situation rapidly evolving, organizations are desperate for help.
By Katherine J Igoe
It’s Time to Give Domestic Workers the Protections They Deserve
The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, reintroduced today, would establish a new set of standards for the people who work in our homes and take a vital step towards racial and gender equity.
By Ai-jen Poo