Georgetown University

USAWC Statement in support of Afghan Women

April 14, 2021

In light of President Biden's announcement on April 14 that the United States will withdraw all of its forces from Afghanistan by September 11, the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council remains deeply concerned about the status of women and girls in Afghanistan, particularly as attacks against female leaders of civil society groups, women in the security forces, health workers, and journalists continue to escalate. We stand in solidarity with Afghan women, and remain steadfast in our determination to preserve and advance the gains they have made in the previous 20 years.

While U.S. military forces might be leaving Afghanistan, our members vow to remain. As the USAWC approaches our 20th anniversary, USAWC members are united by a common commitment to support and carry out programming to further Afghan women and girls’ education, healthcare, economic opportunities, and leadership. USAWC members will continue to amplify the voices, experiences, needs, and achievement of Afghan women and girls.

For Afghanistan to rebuild and for any peace to be sustainable, the country will require a diversity of ideas, experiences, leadership, and action – from all of its people – to move forward. Such progress is impossible without the dedicated, long-term involvement of women, which allows for shifts in both long held beliefs and practices and for systematic approaches. We must continue to work, together, to create a shared vision of Afghanistan’s future that puts Afghan women, and all of Afghanistan’s people, at the center.


The U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council (USAWC) is a non-partisan public-private partnership that convenes governments, civil society and the private sector around the goal of supporting Afghan women and girl’s education, healthcare, economic empowerment and leadership.The Council leverages public and private resources to advance member-driven initiatives and highlights the experiences and needs of Afghan women and girls.  

The U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council (USAWC) was founded in 2002 as a public-private partnership. The USAWC is based out of Georgetown University and is co-chaired by the President of Georgetown University and the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, alongside the Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Afghan Minister for Women’s Affairs. 

Under the leadership of First Ladies Laura Bush, Hillary R. Clinton, and Rula Ghani, all of whom serve together as the Honorary Co-Chairs of the USAWC, the Council has worked to address areas of need identified by Afghan women, convening interested partners and brokering connections to meaningful sustainable platforms.Through the individual initiatives and collaborative efforts of its members, who are leaders in government, the private sector, academia and philanthropy, the Council has taken steps to advance the lives of Afghan women and children.