How have the status and roles of Afghanistan’s women changed, in town and in country, through the conflicts and upheavals of recent decades, and how important is their contested status to the country’s conflicts today?  To what extent are women’s gains of the past decade at risk from a
fundamentalist resurgence, and to what extent have some Afghan women acquired a modicum of economic and political power of their own, and found allies ready to assist them, to defend women’s rights and opportunities? Despite the Taliban-fostered image that Afghanistan’s traditional society is not ready to accept women’s rights, Orzala Ashraf Nemat argues, the past thirty years have laid the groundwork for the active role of women in public life. Much work remains to be done on linking Islamic principles with the efforts of Afghan women for peace, security, political participation, and legal rights