On December 5, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the political future of Afghanistan. Committee Chair Joseph Biden (D-DE) began the hearing by commenting on its timeliness and importance, given the current state of the Afghan government.
Christina Rocca of the State Department testified that two women will hold positions in the new Afghan government—a major advancement for Afghan women. Richard Haass of the State Department agreed with Ms. Rocca and noted that if women were not included in the new government, it would be “equivalent to drawing a line down the country and ignoring that side completely.”
Fatima Gailani, an Afghan activist, testified that of the 17 positions the Northern Alliance will have in the government, none were reserved for women. She asserted that while the two governmental positions held by women will advance the role of women in Afghanistan, more positions must be opened for women.