Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush talk security for Afghan women
November 15th, 2013
01:13 PM ET
9 years ago

Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush talk security for Afghan women

(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton teamed up with fellow former First Lady Laura Bush on Friday for a public discussion about the future of security for Afghan women.

"I'm so worried that once our troops leave, no one will pay attention again to Afghanistan, and we just can't take that risk," Mrs. Bush said at a Georgetown University event in Washington.

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"It's very, very important that we continue to support all the programs that were built in the last 10 years in Afghanistan," she added.

Bush and Clinton serve as honorary co-chairs of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council and sat side-by-side on stage as they answered questions about the progress women have made in fighting violence and discrimination in Afghanistan.

As the United States winds down its combat operations over the next year and finalizes a bilateral security agreement, Mrs. Bush and her predecessor in the White House called on members of Congress and the international community to sustain the work women have done in the country.

Clinton encouraged universities and students to continue establishing online academic relationships with Afghan women.

"We need a virtual army now that the real army is leaving," she said.

For Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential contender, the event marked another opportunity to spotlight her foreign policy chops and strong involvement in women's issues.

Clinton: Helping women succeed is the 'great unfinished business of the 21st century'

The former Secretary of State said women in Afghanistan must continue to be included in current and future security talks, adding such negotiations are only effective when half the country's population is represented.

"We know that in the absence of women being at peace tables...it is less likely to succeed in terms of ending conflicts and providing security," she said

Secretary of State John Kerry separately delivered remarks at the event, saying it would be a tragedy to allow Afghanistan to regress.

"When Afghan women move forward, believe me, they never want to go back. Not to the days when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan," he said. "That is why it is so important that we keep investing in and defending the progress that empowers Afghan women as well as men."

Filed under: Afghanistan • John Kerry • Laura Bush
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. just saying

    obama is going to screw up afghanistan the same way he did iraq. all he wants to do is cut and run. the taliban will return and takeover and the country will once again be a terrorist haven. and all of the country's kids and women will be doomed yet again to a miserable life. now that is the real war on woman people. one that obama doesn't care about.

    November 15, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Winston Smith

    I'm all for security, for all people everywhere. That being said, lets start at home. Too many living paycheck to paycheck. Too many living in the depths of poverty with little of no way out. Too many living on substandard wages, while collecting aid from social programs. Too many lacking education or the proper help to attain educational material. Too many in the drug, alcohol or gang neighborhoods, with no exit in sight. Start here, then clean up the rest of the world.

    November 15, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. smith

    Well looky here, ad em and repub coming together to do whats right. If only we could see this more often maybe we wouldn`t be stepping in dog poop all of the time. However, I fear what happends to the afghan women once we leave.

    November 15, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    @just saying, you are a crazy guy–there is no security after your Bush set his foot there.

    November 15, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Data Driven


    "Well looky here, ad em and repub coming together to do whats right."

    Cheers for the laudable sentiment. I remember a time, not so long ago, when people could laugh good-naturedly at each other's political views over a few beers.

    No longer, sadly.

    November 15, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. much thunder..little rain

    two old ladys how sweet....now go bake some cookies

    November 15, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Since Laura Bush is sending the right message and standing with Hillary Clinton on women issues, will Tea Partiers and conservative purists accuse her of being a RINO?

    November 15, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    Are there really people who were brought into this world by their mothers and they do not care for them?

    November 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |