Shaheen and Collins Address Biden’s New Senior Roles in Support of Afghan Women and Girls

December 31, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) applauded the recent announcement from the Biden administration naming Rina Amiri and Stephenie Foster Special Envoy and Senior Advisor, respectively, to oversee efforts to advance the State Department’s work in support of Afghan women, girls and human rights around the world:

“I’m very encouraged that the Biden administration is heeding bipartisan calls in Congress and making good on our nation’s obligation to continue advancing the rights of Afghan women and girls,” said Senator Shaheen. “Senator Collins and I have partnered on a number of items to ensure women and girls in Afghanistan are not forgotten. We have a moral imperative to advocate on their behalf and help protect their hard-fought rights. These new senior roles will help enhance those efforts, and I look forward to working with both Rina and Stephenie to ensure we are doing all that we can to stand by Afghan women, girls and vulnerable populations during this turbulent and uncertain time.”

“The disastrous withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan reversed the tremendous progress that had been made for Afghan women and girls,” said Senator Collins. “These appointments at the State Department signal the United States’ continued commitment to addressing the Taliban’s repression of vulnerable members of Afghanistan’s society. Senator Shaheen and I have long advocated for our government to improve access to educational and professional opportunities for Afghan women and girls, and we will continue to work to secure resources to assist them.”

The State Department’s announcement follows calls from the Senators, including a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, where Secretary Blinken committed to Senator Shaheen to establish a senior role to oversee the Department’s support of Afghan women and girls.