A “trailblazer” for Afghan women

June 8, 2015 | Swanee Hunt

Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Founder and Chair of The Institute for Inclusive Security, was honored last week for her “trailblazing” contributions to Afghan women. Women for Afghan Women presented her with a Legacy Award at their 14th annual gala in New York City.

Swanee Hunt receives the Women for Afghan Women Award from James Cunningham, US Ambassador to Afghanistan.

“Swanee was with Afghan women long before many others in the international community, and we know she will be with us long after others have left,” said Women for Afghan Women staff member Sunita Viswanath.

James Cunningham, US Ambassador to Afghanistan, introduced Ambassador Hunt as a “force to be reckoned with on bringing peace to Afghanistan.”

“She married strategies of service, education, and philanthropy,” he said. “She molds people to be peacebuilders, scholars, and most importantly holistic human beings that positively contribute to their communities.”

In accepting the award, Ambassador Hunt recalled her first visit to Afghanistan in 1998, where she witnessed the total subjugation women endured under Taliban rule. She described the extraordinary progress made by women since then, noting that new President Ashraf Ghani used much of his speech to a joint session of the US Congress in March to convey his government’s commitment to advance women and girls in Afghan society.

“From a mud house where woman learn to read under Taliban rule to President Ashraf Ghani electrifying Congress with his speech on women and girls, we are seeing how far a country — a society — can go,” she said.