U.S. Rep. Lawrence and Democratic Women’s Caucus Call for Security for Afghan Women and a Women, Peace, and Security-Centered U.S. Policy Towards Afghanistan
Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) Co-Chairs Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Lois Frankel (FL-21), and Vice Chairs Congresswomen Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging that the United States implements a women, peace, and security-centered approach to U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan. With the situation on the ground evolving, that policy must immediately prioritize fully securing the airport and evacuating Afghan women leaders and Special Immigrant Visa recipients, applicants, and their families, and longer-term advances in women’s rights and security to ensure a more stable and secure future for Afghanistan and the region. The letter was signed by 69 lawmakers, including 46 DWC members.
“In light of the recent developments, we fear that the immense gains for Afghan women and girls accomplished over the past twenty years will be lost, and that women along with religious and ethnic minorities in particular will face increased attacks and assassinations by the Taliban, ISIS, and warlords,” the Members wrote. “The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2019, and Section 1218 of the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act demonstrate Congress’ continued commitment to putting gender equality, women’s rights, and the meaningful participation of women in society and conflict resolution at the heart of our foreign policy agenda, including in Afghanistan. We therefore urge you to use all available tools to protect at-risk groups and ensure that any political or peace process going forward is inclusive of women’s political and peacebuilding participation.”
Click here for a copy of the letter.