Group of Senators Pushes Biden to Support Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

Group of Senators Pushes Biden to Support Women's Rights in Afghanistan

( – Women who serve in the Senate are stepping up this week to ask President Joe Biden to take action on behalf of women and girls in Afghanistan. The group of 24 female representatives, led by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), penned a collective letter to the commander-in-chief. In it, they express deep concern over how America’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan stands to affect female citizens.

A Return to Chaos

The American military’s presence in Afghanistan slowly ushered in a new era of freedom for Afghan women. For a time, it seemed as if the region would finally step into the future, verging away from the horrors of Sharia law. Many of those hard-won gains are now slipping away.

Both the letter’s contents and recent reports from the Middle East paint a grim picture of the new reality of daily life for women still living in Afghanistan. The newly-formed Taliban government initially promised to turn over a new leaf by upholding women’s rights shortly after capturing Kabul. However, reports suggest it quickly reneged on that promise by forcing women out of the workforce and preventing them from attending school.

Yet, being unable to work or study really only scratches the surface. The Taliban allegedly executed at least one woman in late August for the simple crime of failing to don a burqa. Reports of forced marriages to soldiers, assaults, and whippings are also growing common.

Children are also reportedly at risk. An article originally published in the Hindustan Times in September claims Taliban soldiers executed a young boy after discovering his father participated in resistance efforts.

In another shocking move, Taliban leaders even warned women to stay in their homes, claiming they hadn’t yet trained their soldiers to respect women.

Senators Implore the President to Take Action

The senators’ letter didn’t just warn President Biden about the potential risks to Afghanistan’s women and girls. Leaders are also asking him to strategize and take immediate action to fix a problem ultimately caused by America’s chaotic withdrawal from the region.

They want the Biden administration to craft an action plan for protecting Afghan women and girls — even if such efforts must take place from a distance. They’re also asking the president to deliver a briefing outlining exactly how he intends to move forward on the issue.

However, the group of senators doesn’t expect Biden to solve the problem on his own. They’re also offering to directly engage with the current administration in an effort to further their goals. They are willing to serve in an advisory capacity, empowering change by putting forth new legislation and a number of other measures.

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