Skip to content

On International Women’s Day & After Unrelenting Advocacy by Shaheen, SFRC Clears Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues

Shaheen has repeatedly fought for the Committee to advance the pivotal Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues role, which Republicans have blocked for months.

Earlier today, Shaheen led the introduction of the International Women’s Day 2023 resolution.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the nomination of Dr. Geeta Gupta for the role of Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues. Senator Shaheen has championed efforts in the Senate to confirm Dr. Gupta for the Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues role and railed against Republican obstruction which previously prevented Gupta’s confirmation from advancing.

“It is tremendously frustrating that it took so long, but I’m relieved that Dr. Gupta’s nomination is finally moving forward. The Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues is one of the few roles in our diplomatic toolbox directly tasked with responding to the plight of women and girls in the most precarious national security situations, such as supporting Afghan women who are courageously risking their lives to defend their hard-won rights,” said Shaheen. “Republican opposition to Dr. Gupta’s nomination is both misguided and downright dangerous. Their obsession over women’s reproductive rights, of which this role has no jurisdiction, prevented this urgently needed nomination from advancing for months. U.S. diplomacy should never suffer so a party can score political points. Senators are here to cast votes and make policy – certain lawmakers have prevented us from doing that. I urge them to take this responsibility seriously and allow the Senate to do its job. I urge swift floor consideration for Dr. Gupta. This role has been vacant long enough.”

On the Senate floor last year, Shaheen repeatedly highlighted the need for an ambassador dedicated to advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, and lamented Republicans’ obstruction blocking the confirmation of Dr. Gupta and other qualified nominees – particularly on the grounds of falsehoods and political games. In December, Shaheen lambasted Senate Republicans for their obsession over women’s reproductive health – over which this role has no jurisdiction – which blocked this nomination.

Shaheen leads action in the U.S. Senate on global women’s issues. In 2017, Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the Women, Peace and Security Act, was signed into law, requiring the U.S. Government to actively work to promote the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention and peace negotiations. Shaheen built on this progress in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 government funding bill that was recently signed into law by securing $150 million for the implementation of a multi-year strategy on women, peace and security. Shaheen also worked to include $50 million to support women’s leadership programs, which the new law designates as the Madeleine K. Albright Women’s Leadership Program. Furthermore, the law provides $200 million for the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund and $15 million for the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State.  

Senator Shaheen is a fierce advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the globe. Shaheen has prioritized issues to empower women, which include advocating on behalf of family planning and women’s global health, spearheading efforts to end violence against women, empowering female entrepreneurs and breaking down barriers to education. Shaheen is also an outspoken advocate for Afghan women and girls. Shaheen long expressed deep concerns about the United States’ unconditioned withdrawal from Afghanistan, particularly out of concern for the immediate danger facing Afghan women and other groups vulnerable to the Taliban’s violence and oppression, which have escalated since U.S. withdrawal concluded. Shaheen continues to raise the case of Afghan women and girls and the urgent need for U.S. and global action to protect them, and to hold the Taliban to account for gross human rights abuses.