Women’s Engagement in Afghanistan: Implications for Transnational Security

By Ariel Bigio


This paper aims to identify the factors that preclude or marginalize women’s participation in transnational security and identify key conditions for the inclusion of women in this realm. Women’s perspectives in conflict and reconstruction are important to bolstering stability and require women’s engagement in the decision-making and policy process. Women’s engagement in Afghanistan will be examined in this paper through four independent variables: access to education, access to political rights, access to justice, and access to social/cultural rights. This paper will outline the policies that have been created by the Afghan government to foster engagement for each of these variables and evaluate how these policies have met with varying degrees of success in implementation. Lastly, the transnational security implications and policy recommendations for women’s engagement will be addressed.

About the Author:

Ariel Bigio is a graduate student in the Security Policy Studies program at The George Washington University. Ariel graduated from the University of Maryland in 2009 with a B.A. in American Studies and Criminal Justice. She has worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in the International Prisoner Transfer Unit and at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. Prior to graduate school, Ariel also spent a semester in Ghana with the School for International Training and two years in Israel.

Photo taken by Staff Sgt. Russell Lee Klika, US Army National Guard.

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