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Shaheen Lauds Senate Advancement of Key Nominee to Lead the Office of Global Women’s Issues, Ending More Than a Year of Republican Obstruction

**Shaheen has worked for more than a year to unlock Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta’s nomination, which has been obstructed by extreme partisan Republicans for more than a year* 

floor remarks 5.4.23

Watch Shaheen’s remarks in full here. 

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, lauded the nomination of Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta to lead the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the Department of State, which cleared a key procedural hurdle this afternoon and sets up the Senate to vote on Gupta’s confirmation next week. Shaheen has championed the advancement of her nomination , which Republicans have stymied since November 2021. 

“The Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues will lead our efforts to support women and girls in some of the most precarious situations in the world. Once confirmed, Dr. Gupta will work to support Afghan women who courageously risk their lives to fight for their hard-won rights, ensure justice for Ukrainian women assaulted by invading Russian forces and defend Sudanese women who face gender-based violence as the situation in their country deteriorates. And those are only a handful of examples of the immense responsibilities that this position is tasked with,” said Shaheen. “Despite a great deal of partisan obstruction, this nomination is finally moving forward. I appreciate the support from the few Republican lawmakers who put our national security over party politics to help advance this urgently needed nomination. Dr. Gupta is immensely qualified, and I am sure she will serve admirably.” 

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. Last year, Shaheen lambasted Senate Republicans for their obsession over women’s reproductive health –  which is not within the jurisdiction of this position – which blocked Dr. Gupta’s 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 signed into law last year 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.