This study examines Afghanistan's female political and judicial leaders' political trajectory, careers, experiences, and difficulties. Interviews conducted in 2022 with 27 female Afghan leaders in exile reveal the exceptional educational and professional qualifications of women who rose in political power over the last two decades. During that time, Afghanistan’s female leaders amassed university education, political connections, and positions of power.
Our interviews reveal both triumphs and devastating losses. Although female politicians helped advance women’s and human rights in the country, they were frequently met with disdain and discrimination from colleagues and community members. They also endured shocking violence and persecution during the Taliban’s takeover in 2021, which saw the retraction of women’s rights seemingly overnight. Our respondents describe their despair over leaving their homeland, livelihoods, families, and futures. We conclude by detailing their hopes for the future, including how they might contribute to Afghan politics from their positions in exile and offering practical insights about the potential for change.
FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT
Reclaiming Lost Power: The Political Trajectory, Despair and Aspirations of Exiled Women Afghan Leaders
- Project Contact: Anita Raj (Care of Laura Kreller) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Media Contact: Newcomb Communications, Rebecca Gipson, Romalley1@tulane.edu