The war in Afghanistan represents the first intervention of the ‘War on Terror’. The role of women, and their liberation from the Taliban’s gender norms, was a key narrative and justification in this conflict by the interventionist powers. As such, actors in this conflict had numerous opportunities to centre gender issues, and ensure that the peace process that followed the intervention in Afghanistan was inclusive of women and that the agreements and constitution reflected this inclusion and focus on women’s rights. However, participation (and the implementation of rights and provisions in the peace documents) is shaped by extreme, ongoing insecurity that resulted from the 2001 intervention as well as more historic conflicts. Other factors impacting participation and implementation include very conservative gender norms and power structures, continued influence of the Taliban and other violent actors (most recently Islamic State (IS), which has been targeting development organisations) and ongoing economic insecurity.