Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton met today at the State Department with fourteen prominent Afghan women judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. These jurists were in Washington to participate in a training program arranged by the Department’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.
Secretary Clinton told them: "Your American friends greatly admire your bravery and courage. It is your work in the tough environment of Afghanistan for women lawyers that will bring real reform and the rule of law to the Afghan people. As President Obama made clear yesterday in his first foreign policy announcement, we are committed to supporting your efforts to bring security and stability to your country."
Under the leadership of the former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Dr. Kerry Healey, and United States District Judge Stephen G. Larson of the Central District of California, the women participated in two weeks of intensive legal seminars, roundtable events, and consultations with senior officials from the State of California and the U.S. government, including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
The women explored current topics in the Afghan and American legal systems, legal decision-making and mediation, domestic violence, family and mental health, and narcotics law, while gaining hands-on exposure to the American judicial system.
The Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan is a joint effort between the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the American legal community to strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan. The goal of the Partnership is to help the Afghan people establish a fair and transparent justice system that protects the rights of women, children, and minorities and that is equally accessible to all citizens.
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More information about the Public-Private Partnership is available for download from the State Department website at http://www.state.gov/p/inl/narc/partnership/index.htm.