Since 2001, the situation for women in Afghanistan has dramatically improved. Following the toppling of the Taliban regime women have enjoyed both rights to basic healthcare and education. The emancipation from a deep seated sexist culture has been ameliorated each consecutive year. Sweden contributed to this process by virtue of its military presence and development aid.
There is nevertheless a compelling risk that these achievements will be spoiled with a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan. In the worst case scenario, the situation for women will revert into its shameful past.
In the report Right to a Future – the Situation for Afghanistan’s Women After 2014 Renate Larssen and Sara Norrevik assert that there is a moral responsibility to not let this happen. As an advocate of women’s rights, Sweden should use its leverage in various international forums to ensure that the achievements for Afghan women remain after troops start to leave the country in 2014.