Afghan Women Spoke and Congress Listened

November 29, 2012

afghan women protest
Afghan Young Women for Change (YWC) activists, holding placards which read “where is justice?”, take part in a protest denouncing violence against women in Afghanistan in Kabul on April 14, 2012.

The U.S. Senate took a critical step to prioritize security needs of Afghan women and girls! Yesterday, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) introduced the Afghan Women and Girls Security Promotion Act of 2012.

If enacted, this crucial piece of legislation would require the Department of Defense to develop a three-part strategy to promote and support the security of Afghan women and girls during and after the security transition process. The bill would support Afghan women’s rights by:
• Improving monitoring and response to women’s security conditions.
• Increasing recruitment and retention of women in the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by reducing barriers to women’s participation.
• Improving gender sensitivity among ANSF personnel by requiring training related to the human rights of women and girls and by strengthening enforcement and accountability.

With threats to women’s rights in the news daily, and reports of murders, poisonings and acts of intimidation, this bill is a positive step towards ensuring and strengthening women’s security and helps to lay a foundation for Afghan women’s full participation in the long term. As with every country around the globe, the respect for the human rights of women and girls will be a crucial determinant of Afghanistan’s ability to create a stable and prosperous future.

The U.S. Senate is poised to add this bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which is currently being debated in the Senate. If so, the bill could pass quickly into law and help improve the security situation of Afghan women and girls.
Please take action to support the human rights of Afghan women and girls by contacting your Senators today and urging them to cosponsor the Afghan Women and Girls Security Promotion Act. You can reach your Senator by calling the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking for to speak with the Senators from your state.