Laura Bush and Rula Ghani on 'opening the door' for women in Afghanistan

Former first lady Laura Bush is a grandmother, a former librarian and a fierce fighter for women's rights. Nearly 10 years since she and her husband, former President George W. Bush, left the White House, Bush remains committed to the mission she began after 9/11: empowering women in Afghanistan. She and Afghan first lady Rula Ghani agreed to sit down with me in a rare interview in the Afghan Embassy in Washington.

After our conversation of nearly an hour, part of which included three young Afghans, the two women traveled to Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to continue their support for Afghanistan and its women. But it was clear their bond extends beyond that shared cause.
Friends since 2015, the two women laughed and chatted warmly, traded ideas about Afghanistan, and finished sentences in unison. Beneath their poised and approachable exteriors, it was also clear that the former and current first ladies share a steely determination to make headway in the fight to improve the lives of Afghan women.