May 25, 2021
(Washington, DC) – US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a bipartisan resolution with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate condemning the recent devastating attack on a girls’ school in Kabul that has made more than 85 dead and 150 injured. people, and also expressing U.S. solidarity with Afghan women and girls amid the recent outbreak of violence. The resolution condemns all forms of violence against women and supports international efforts to ensure that Afghan girls can go to school safely.
“We are already seeing the deadly consequences of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, especially for women and girls. As the Taliban escalates violence against women as they leave the United States, the rights of women and girls are at stake. The hard-fought gains for women – from their security in civil society to their access to rights fundamentals like education – are in immediate danger. Unfortunately, we saw the consequences in Kabul with the deadly attack on schoolgirls ”. mentionned Shaheen. “I have said it before, but it bears repeating: I will not support any effort that allows the Taliban to continue to commit these horrific acts without any responsibility for their behavior. The United States and the international community must unite to condemn Taliban violence, demand that women and girls come first in the peace process, and provide the resources necessary to protect their rights and education in Afghanistan.
The planned withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan threatens the progress made for Afghan women and girls since the end of the Taliban regime in 2001. The recent escalation of violence in the country, including this deadly attack on a girls’ school in Kabul is unacceptable and the United States must hold the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan accountable ”. says Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan resolution sends a clear message that the United States will not tolerate these vicious acts of violence and will allocate resources to ensure that Afghan women and girls continue to have access to educational and professional opportunities.”
The full text of the resolution can be found here.
Senator Shaheen has repeatedly fought to make the inclusion of Afghan women in the current negotiations a priority of US foreign policy. Senator Shaheen recently met virtually with women members of the Afghan Parliament to discuss the rights and future of women and girls in Afghanistan as the United States begins to pull out. Shaheen also raised concerns about the safety of women and girls upon departure from the United States from Afghanistan with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan, during a Senate hearing on foreign relations last month. She also partnered with humanitarian and filmmaker Angelina Jolie in a Washington Post op-ed calling for a meaningful and comprehensive strategy to address the security of women and girls in Afghanistan as the United States downsizes its presence.
In a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Shaheen shed light on the stories of seven women who were brutally murdered by the Taliban and pointed to a recently declassified report that portends the plight of Afghan women after the withdrawal of American troops. The report finds that achievements in the area of women’s rights have been made when the international community prioritizes women’s rights in Afghanistan. She had previously raised this issue with Secretary of State Blinken, both before and during her confirmation hearing. During a visit by a congressional delegation to Afghanistan in 2019, Shaheen met a group of Afghan women who described how dramatically their lives have improved since the overthrow of the Taliban government nearly two decades ago. Shaheen is the author of the Women, Peace and Security Act, which was enacted in 2017 and provides women with a leadership role in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.