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Under Secretary Dobriansky Leads Delegation Trip to Afghanistan

Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky led a delegation of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council on a trip to Afghanistan on November 19-20. During the trip, members of the delegation met with President Hamid Karzai and other senior officials and discussed the future of the Council.

The U.S.-Afghan Women's Council was created in 2002 by President Karzai and President George W. Bush in order to empower Afghan women to play a key role in rebuilding Afghanistan. It does so by promoting public/private partnerships between U.S. and Afghan institutions, and has worked on projects focusing on health, education, training and microfinance. In 2006 the Council and Georgetown University announced a two-year partnership to work on issues such as educational opportunities, skills training, improving political and legal participation, and access to medical care.

During the trip to Afghanistan, members of the delegation met with President Karzai, Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, and Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs Dr. Hosni Banu Ghazanfar to discuss the transition of the Council to its permanent home at Georgetown University. They also traveled to Bamiyan Province to witness progress on a number of projects, including a learning center being built by the Ayenda Foundation, an organization co-founded by Mrs. Shamim Jawad, wife of Ambassador Said T. Jawad.

The delegation included a number of distinguished Americans from the private sector and philanthropy: Dr. Phyllis Magrab, Director of the Center for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University, Jeff Fahey, philanthropist and actor, and Tim McBride, Co-chair of the Ayenda Foundation.

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