Volume XXIII

Expectation v. Reality: How the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 Failed Afghan Women

by Linsey Scoresby

The world watched in horror as the twenty-year war in Afghanistan ended with the collapse of the Afghan government. Now in full control, the Taliban are burning years of nation-building and democracy to the ground with women’s human rights at the center of the flames. Afghan women are now plagued with violence, isolation, and oppression. The ones who were fortunate enough to flee are assigned to a life of purgatory from the country they love. It did not have to be this way. Indeed, the exclusion of women from the United States (US)-Taliban peace negotiations and under-representation of women at the Intra-Afghan peace talks are crucial to understanding the downfall of the US troop withdrawal. This article argues that had the US government better implemented the US Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS Strategy) from the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 (WPS Act) to support Afghan women leaders in peace negotiations, the rights of Afghan women would not be existentially threatened.  This argument is proven by contrasting the WPS Strategy mandates for the peace processes to the international community’s failure in implementation …

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