Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) wrote to President Joe Biden urging him to take immediate action to ensure women’s rights and safety are protected in the wake of the pending U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Noting that protecting Afghan women and girls post-withdrawal will require a whole-of-government approach, the Senators urged the President to immediately appoint an Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues who can serve as the senior administration official responsible for coordinating it.
“We write to convey our deep concern for the fate of women’s rights in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces in the coming months,” the Senators wrote. “Given all that is at stake for Afghan women and girls, we ask you to take immediate steps to ensure women’s rights and safety after the U.S. departure, including the appointment of an Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues to serve as the senior administration official responsible for coordinating all U.S. government efforts for the protection of women’s rights in Afghanistan.”
“This is an urgent priority as our forces withdraw from the country and thereafter. The Taliban rule that preceded U.S. intervention was marked by the violent repression of Afghan women and girls,” the Senators continued. “Women were barred from working, attending school, and the basic freedom of movement. After twenty years of U.S. and NATO presence in Afghanistan, uneven but undeniable progress has been made in advancing rights for Afghan women and girls in society. There is work still to do, but our progress must not be reversed.”
Last month, Senators Collins and Shaheen led a bipartisan resolution condemning the recent devastating attack on a girls’ school in Kabul, expressing U.S. solidarity with Afghan women and girls, and supporting international efforts to ensure Afghan girls can safely attend school.
Click HERE to read the full letter.