Violence against women in Afghanistan may have lessened since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, but the situation is far from peaceful for the millions of women who call Afghanistan home. The country was named as the most dangerous country for women according to a 2011 Thomson Reuters Foundation survey.
In the last eleven years, the United States has promised to help bring reform, civil rights, and equality to women in the region. Though the United States presence in the country has brought more attention to the region and the mistreatment of women there, it is still unclear whether change will be lasting.
"When our troops entered Afghanistan, the first thing we did was decide to work with the most misogynist elements of Afghanistan, war lords who had a history of abusing women, and who had a history of being very Taliban-like in their ideology," Sonali Kolhatkar, Director of the Afghan Women's Mission told HuffPost Live's Ahmed Shihab-Eldin.
I would say that our presence there has made some things look better on the surface for women," Jean MacKenzie, a senior correspondent for GlobalPost formerly based in Afghanistan, told Huffpost Live. Though the number of girls in school and women in government has increased, MacKenzie believes there is a difference between initial numbers and sustainable development.
However, Manizha Naderi, a local Afghan woman who lives and works in the country, believes real change has already occurred.
"Before 9-11, Afghanistan was a land of nothing..." Naderi told HuffPost Live. "Now when you come to Afghanistan we have thousands of schools, we have a banking system, we have women in parliament... the government is working pretty well."