ICYMI: Shaheen Participates in Washington Post Live Discussion on the Future of Afghan Women & Girls under Taliban Rule

September 02, 2021

wapo live event

(Manchester, NH) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) participated in a live virtual discussion hosted by the Washington Post to discuss the future of Afghan women and girls. Shaheen highlighted her efforts over the years to ensure the voices and rights of Afghan women and girls are prioritized and protected, as well as implications for Afghan women now that the U.S military mission has concluded in Afghanistan. Shaheen was joined by Judge Najla Ayoubi, the Chief of Global Programs at Every Woman Treaty and a former Afghan judge, and the discussion was moderated by Frances Stead Sellers, a senior writer at the Washington Post. 

Here are some highlights from what Shaheen shared during the discussion:

On evacuating those who remain in danger in Afghanistan: “We didn’t get everyone out who I think needs to be out…There’s unfinished work to be done. I hope we will all stay committed to ensuring that anybody who wants to leave Afghanistan – whether it’s a special visa applicant, whether it’s women and girls who are threatened, or other groups – we will continue to work to see that they can leave the country.”

On her leadership fighting for Afghan women and girls and their fate under Taliban rule: “This is something that I’ve been talking about for a number of years, particularly when the prior Trump administration was negotiating with the Taliban. I raised concerns with former Secretary Pompeo, with Ambassador Khalilzad that women were not represented at the table despite the fact that we have legislation on the books signed by former President Trump that says in conflict areas, women should be at the negotiating table…Those messages fell on deaf ears. Now we are dealing with a situation where women and girls are not represented…and there are no assurances for them going forward.”

On holding the Taliban accountable: “Part of what we need to do is assure that any economic assistance and humanitarian assurance, and as we’re looking at diplomatic recognition, that that is all conditioned on what we see from the Taliban – how they treat not just women and girls, but other minorities in the country, and what they’re doing about human rights and basic necessities…The reports that are coming out right now are very mixed.”

You can watch the full discussion here.

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