Former Laura Bush staffer decries Taliban's treatment of women amid peace deal

The former chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush on Wednesday said that Afghan women are fearful for their future amid a peace agreement between Afghanistan's government, the U.S. and Taliban forces due to be signed on Saturday.

In an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Anita McBride said that women studying at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul are worried about the future of women's rights in a country where a reduction in efforts to drive out the Taliban looks to be imminent.

"They don't want to go back," McBride said, referring to the old system in Afghanistan under the Taliban that prevented women from attending universities. "This is one of the things they're scared about now, and rightfully so."

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"We know what the record of the Taliban is and its treatment towards women," she continued. "We know what the record is of women who have beaten all odds to ... function in this society, and who do you want to believe at this point?"

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS to label white supremacist group as terrorist organization for first time Trump administration eyes Afghan security forces funding for aid cut: report Trump says 40,000 Americans have been repatriated who were stranded abroad MORE said last week that a long-awaited peace deal between the U.S. and Taliban forces would finally be signed this Saturday, starting what the Trump administration hopes will be the first step to ending America's longest-running war.

“Upon a successful implementation of this understanding, signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement is expected to move forward. We are preparing for the signing to take place on February 29,” Pompeo said on Friday.

“Intra-Afghan negotiations will start soon thereafter, and will build on this fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for Afghanistan,” he continued. “The only way to achieve a sustainable peace in Afghanistan is for Afghans to come together and agree on the way forward.”