Award-winning reporter discusses women's roles in Afghanistan

LAWTON, OK._Many Americans have the misconception that all Afghani women are hiding behind burkas, with very few rights or ambitions.

While that has been the case in the past, award-winning journalist Robin Wright told a crowd at Cameron University Thursday night that some Afghani women are making a comeback in their own country.

She says Americans have very little concept of what actually goes on in Afghanistan or the current status of women.

Wright was the university's final guest speaker during their year long study of Afghanistan.

Robin Wright has reported on wars and revolutions in over 140 countries and six continents.

She has spent plenty of time in Afghanistan studying the war, the religion, and the people.

She has seen firsthand the progress the Afghani women have made.

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 only 5% of women were literate.

Now, 13% can read and write.

And that group is starting to make a change.

"There are women that are emerging from underneath the burka. To become police women, to join the air force. Very small numbers, but it is a beginning," said Wright.

This small group of Afghani women is ambitious. In fact, in 2010 over 400 women ran for parliament.

"Hundred of women, also over the past decade, particularly over the past six, seven years, have run for office. Two have run for the presidency. Seven have run to be vice-president," said Wright.

This small group of emerging Afghani women are breaking barriers.

They are doing and becoming things that many women never dream of.

The best part is, it is all on their own, for themselves.

"Women have taken the initiative themselves. This is not something that men have given them. A lot of them are recognizing they have to be part of the solution, so they're active in ways that they've never been before," said Wright.

Wright also told us that now 28% of the Afghani parliament is made up of women.

Although these numbers are great achievements, she says there is still a tremendous amount of progress to be made, starting with basic education.

In fact, Wright said that Afghanistan is still one of the four worst places in the world to be a woman.

Among many other awards, Robin Wright has been named the journalist of the year by the American Academy of Diplomacy and received the United Nations correspondents' gold medal.