A group of Afghan women are attempting to reach the 24,580-foot summit this summer. In mid-May, two of the climbers, along with two American chaperones, visited Afghanistan's highest mountain to see the terrain firsthand in preparation for the historic climb. Soraya Sarhaddi-Nelson/NPR hide caption

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At the Romez Store in Kabul, brides-to-be can place custom orders for dresses costing upwards of $900, which is three times the average monthly wage in Afghanistan. Sean Carberry/NPR hide caption

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The women of the Afghan National Cycling Federation team train outside Kabul, the capital. They face poor road conditions, terrible traffic, lots of gawking and even threats of violence in pursuit of their sport. Peter Breslow/NPR hide caption

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June 4, 2011: women and girls at a literacy class in Anjil, Afghanistan. AP hide caption

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The Two-Way

'We Will Have Our Voices,' Advocate For Afghan Women Says

But a key question is raised by the prospect of U.S. troops leaving that nation: What happens to the gains, modest as they may be, that women there have made?

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