Katie Couric's Notebook: Afghan Women

It's a deeply disturbing image - a young Afghan woman with a hole where her nose once was. As Time Magazine reports, she was dragged from her home and mutilated by the Taliban for trying to escape abusive in-laws.

Since 2001, women have gradually gained ground in Afghanistan - but in many parts of that country, it still isn't safe for girls to go to school or women to be teachers or doctors. The Taliban sends so-called Night Letters - death threats and sometimes those threats are carried out.

Today on my webshow, an expert from Human Rights Watch details what she's heard from Afghan women...that they want basic rights...to work, go to school, and not risk dying in childbirth.

But talk about working with the Taliban coupled with a reduction in troop size, may have terrifying implications for women there.  The U.S. and NATO need to do everything they can to give them a seat at the table. Otherwise, one small step for the women of Afghanistan could become one giant leap backwards.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.