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Shaheen Statement on International Women’s Day

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the only woman and a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement to commemorate International Women’s Day:

“Today, nations around the world observe International Women’s Day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women across the globe. Over the last century, we’ve made tremendous progress in many parts of the world towards women becoming respected as full and equal partners in the economy and society. However, we can’t observe International Women’s Day without recognizing the obstacles that stand in the way of equal rights and opportunities for women. There are still countless millions of women who face the denial of basic human rights and outright violence,” said Shaheen.

“That’s especially true in vulnerable nations, such as Afghanistan. Sadly, over the last seven months since the Taliban’s takeover, we’ve seen violence and the revocation of basic rights for women and girls. The sacrifices made by mothers and grandmothers over decades to ensure their daughters and granddaughters could go to school and participate in the workforce are now in danger of being erased by the Taliban’s violent rule. The global community must hold the Taliban accountable for their treatment of women and girls and prioritize international pressure to force the Taliban to end its violence,” she continued.

“It is also important to recognize the remarkable resilience of Ukrainian women. Ukrainian women have fled the country in large numbers to protect their children, but many women have also stayed to help defend their country against Putin’s unjust war. Ukrainian women are playing a critical role and inspiring women and girls across the world, and we must continue to do all we can to make sure that we support their bravery and resilience,” she added.

Shaheen concluded: “I commend the Biden administration’s decision to more than double funding to support our international efforts to advance gender equality. Through my positions on both the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, I will continue to fiercely advocate for women and girls around the globe – from securing women’s access to health care to ending gender-based violence, to addressing barriers to education and securing women leadership roles in peace and conflict settings. When women succeed, families and societies succeed. Now is the time to recommit ourselves to ensuring women’s integration into society is at the heart of our policy goals – at home and abroad.”

Senator Shaheen is a fierce advocate for women and girls in the United States and around the globe. Shaheen has prioritized issues to raise women up, such as opposing efforts to roll back women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the rights of sexual assault survivors, advocating on behalf of family planning and women’s global health, spearheading efforts to end violence against women and securing women leadership roles in conflict resolution and peace negotiations. 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. Shaheen repeatedly fought to make the inclusion of Afghan women in negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan government a U.S. foreign policy priority. Shaheen is the author of the Women, Peace and Security Actwhich was signed into law in 2017 and ensures women’s leadership roles in conflict resolution and peace negotiations. She partnered with humanitarian and filmmaker Angelina Jolie on an op-ed in the Washington Post that called for a meaningful and comprehensive strategy to address the safety and security of women and girls in Afghanistan. Shaheen also participated in a live virtual discussion hosted by The Washington Post to discuss the future of Afghan women and girls.