Director-General and former First Lady Laura Bush discuss women rights in Afghanistan

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and former US First Lady Laura Bush on 15 March discussed the challenges facing women in Afghanistan.

The exchange too place at the US Institute for Peace in Washington D.C., where Ms Bush presented the book “We are Afghan Women, Voices of Hope.” Ms Bush, who is also a UNESCO Honorary Ambassador for the Decade of Literacy, wrote the introduction to the book, which focuses on a subject at the center of UNESCO’s activities in the country.

UNESCO has helped provide basic literacy courses to 600,000 students across Afghanistan since 2009, with a particular focus on women’s needs. The Organization has also helped train 12,500 Afghan teachers and contributed to the development of Afghanistan’s National Literacy Strategy. Soon after the end of Taliban rule, UNESCO helped set up a network of Afghan women journalists and lent support to the launch of the country’s first women’s magazines including Effat and Roz, which received a grant from the International Programme for the Development of Communication.