Shaheen, Collins Introduce Resolution Condemning Attack on Girls’ School in Kabul & Urging International Support for Afghan Women & Girls

May 25, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a bipartisan resolution with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate condemning the recent devastating attack on a girls’ school in Kabul that killed over 85 and injured 150 people, and also expressing U.S. solidarity with Afghan women and girls amid the recent surge in violence. The resolution condemns all forms of violence targeting women and supports international efforts to ensure Afghan girls can safely attend school.   

“We are already seeing the deadly consequences of the U.S.’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, particularly for women and girls. As the Taliban escalates violence against women amid the U.S. departure, the rights of women and girls hang in the balance. Hard-fought gains for women – from their safety in civil society to their access to basic rights like education – are in immediate danger. Tragically, we have seen the consequences of this in Kabul with the deadly attack on school girls,” said Shaheen. “I have said it before but it bears repeating: I will not support any efforts that allow the Taliban to continue to commit these horrific acts without any accountability for their behavior. The U.S. and the international community must stand united in condemning the Taliban’s violence, demanding women and girls are prioritized in the peace process and delivering the resources needed to safeguard their rights and education in Afghanistan.”  

“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 Senator Collins. “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 last month. 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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