Here in Kabul, one of my finest friends is Zekerullah, who has gone back to school in the 8th grade although he is an 18-year old young man who has already had to learn far too many of life's harsh lessons.
Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." It's particularly true for Afghanistan, where an entire generation has known nothing but conflict.
Afghan women and girls have achieved significant social and economic gains over the last decade. These achievements must be protected as foreign troops begin to withdraw and political negotiations seek to end the war.