Rights of Iraqi and Afghan women no longer center of stage,” an op-ed featured in The Examiner by IWF’s A. Yasmine Rassam calls back much needed attention to what has once again fallen into the world’s peripheral vision.

Rassam makes a valid point when she says, “Yet today, little media or governmental attention is being paid to the plight of these women. Their fate has become an afterthought in the larger war on terrorism. What the world has yet to grasp, however, is that no single policy is more effective in promoting development and political stability than ensuring women’s active participation in society. Despite this clear boon to many a country’s ills, more times than not women’s rights are the first to be compromised for political gain, despite short- and long-term consequences.”

We can’t forget the faces of Afghan women plastered in newspapers, television programs, and as the main topic at events raising awareness for their “rescue.”  Today it has again turned from a motivation to support for their advancement within their respective societies to a tragic issue that was yesterday’s news. 

Facts mentioned in Rassam’s op-ed, like the cases of women’s forced marriages, illiteracy, and self-immolation are issues Afghan women faced prior to the Taliban and continue six years into the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.  

Rassam’s solution?

“It has been said that ‘progress for women is progress for all.’ It behooves the U.S. to remain firm and increase its financial commitment to women’s equality in both the public and private spheres – especially in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, where the possibility of failure has such tremendous geopolitical ramifications.”

Check out her complete op-ed here.