BREAKING: Senate Passes Shaheen-Collins Resolution Condemning Attack on Kabul School & Urging International Support for Afghan Women & GirlsJune 07, 2021
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution led by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to condemn the recent devastating attack on a girls’ school in Kabul that killed over 85 and injured 150 people, and express U.S. solidarity with Afghan women and girls amid the recent surge in violence. Immediately following the attack, Shaheen spoke on the Senate floor about the urgent need for the U.S. to prioritize the rights of Afghan women and girls amid troop withdrawal. This bipartisan resolution condemns all forms of violence targeting women and supports international efforts to ensure Afghan girls can safely attend school.
“The international community cannot sit idly by as women and girls in Afghanistan once again become the targets of extremist violence as they were under Taliban rule twenty years ago. The recent bombing in Kabul murdered 85 people, mostly girls, for daring to seek an education. The United States and our international partners must stand against this brutality,” said Shaheen. “My bipartisan resolution condemning this attack and urging international support for Afghan women and girls just passed the Senate, and sends a clear message that protecting women and girls must be a U.S. policy priority as the withdrawal from Afghanistan continues. I’ll continue to engage with the Biden administration to safeguard Afghan women’s hard-fought gains and to shield them from escalating violence.”
“The planned withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan threatens the progress that has been made for Afghan women and girls since Taliban rule ended in 2001. The recent escalation of violence in the country, including this deadly attack on a girl’s school in Kabul, is unacceptable and the United States must hold terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan accountable,” said Collins. “The Senate’s passage of our bipartisan resolution sends a clear message that the United States will not tolerate these vicious acts of violence and will direct resources to ensure Afghan women and girls continue to have access to educational and professional opportunities.”
Full text of the resolution can be found here.
Senator Shaheen has repeatedly fought to make the inclusion of Afghan women in ongoing negotiations a U.S. foreign policy priority. Senator Shaheen recently met virtually with women members of Afghanistan’s Parliament to discuss the rights and futures of women and girls in Afghanistan as the United States begins withdrawal. Shaheen also raised her concerns about the safety of women and girls amid the U.S. departure from Afghanistan with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, during a Senate Foreign Relations hearing recently. She also partnered with humanitarian and filmmaker Angelina Jolie on an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for a meaningful and comprehensive strategy to address the safety and security of women and girls in Afghanistan as the U.S. draws down its presence.
In a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Shaheen highlighted the stories of seven women who were brutally murdered by the Taliban and pointed to a newly declassified report that portends poorly for the fate of Afghan women following the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The report finds that achievements in women’s rights have been made when the international community prioritizes women’s rights in Afghanistan. She previously raised this with Secretary of State Blinken, both before and during his confirmation hearing. During a congressional delegation visit to Afghanistan in 2019, Shaheen met with a group of Afghan women who described how dramatically their lives had improved since the Taliban government was toppled nearly 2 decades ago. Shaheen is the author of the Women, Peace and Security Act, which was signed into law in 2017 and ensures women’s leadership roles in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.
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