Katie Couric Visits Afghan Women’s Shelter

Katie Couric reports on the stories of teenage girls turned away from their homes as part of her series on Afghanistan—and asks whether the U.S. will stand by them.

Gayle Lemmon Tzemach: Afghanistan’s Unspeakable Crime Jane Spencer: Bibi, The Face of Afghan WomenGayle Lemmon Tzemach: A Girl Triumphs Over a Horrifying CrimeOn my right is 14-year-old Deeya and on my left is 19-year-old Mina. Deeya's father was forcing her into marriage…to a 55-year-old man. Unable to imagine that life, she fled to a shelter. Mina's family wouldn't allow her to marry the boy she loved, so she ran off with him. He later dumped her and since she had dishonored her family she couldn't go home. If she did, her father would kill her...literally. So she also sought refuge at this shelter, run—at great risk—by an organization called “Women for Afghan Women.” I know women's rights in Afghanistan have become an incendiary issue.

Many American readers complained that the recent cover of Time magazine, featuring a woman whose nose had been sliced off by the Taliban was tantamount to “war porn.” But no matter what your position may be on the war, the future of women's rights hangs in the balance. If Hamid Karzai says, “Let's make a deal,” to the Taliban, then can the United States exert at least some political muscle in the process? So that the girls I met today have a small glimmer of hope and some control over their destiny? As I looked into their beautiful eyes and watched their blank expressions, I thought of my own 14- and 19-year-old daughters, and how different their lives are and will be.

Gallery: Click Here to See Katie Couric in Afghanistan

Tonight on the CBS EVENING NEWS, their stories plus more from this country as we continue to cover the road ahead in Afghanistan. Check back here soon for a preview of their stories.

Katie Couric is the Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric .