Feminist Majority Declares a Victory for Afghan Women
- Hi, everybody
Since aid to Afghanistan has been one of OPCTJ's ongoing projects,
here is some news of interest.
Senate Committee Approves More Funds, ISAF Expansion in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, DC ñ In a bipartisan vote, the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee approved the expansion of peacekeeping troops and much-needed,
additional aid to the newly installed Afghan government.
Led by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), the committeeís chair, and Sen. Barbara
Boxer (D-CA), the committeeís sole female member, the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee approved legislation that will authorize a total of $2
billion for reconstruction over the next four years and $1 billion over
the next two years for expansion of the International Security Assistance
Force (ISAF) - almost triple the amount allocated by the Afghanistan
Freedom Support Act, which was approved by the House in May with a vote of
390 to 22. Senator Boxer introduced and the committee unanimously accepted
an amendment that specifies programs for Afghan women as a priority for a
portion of these funds with significant funding earmarked for the Ministry
for Womenís Affairs and the Human Rights Commission.
"This is an astonishing and historic victory for the women of
Afghanistan," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. "A
bipartisan vote indicates that these Senators have listened to the outcry
of womenís groups around the country and the world. Now we are very
hopeful that the Bush administration will change its policy and support
this version of the legislation. In addition, we hope that with this
impetus, the Bush administration will take action to fulfill its promises
to Afghan women by supporting international peace troop expansion now."
The Feminist Majority spearheaded the drive for ISAF expansion and
additional funds. With the women of Afghanistan repeatedly proclaiming
security as their top priority, the Feminist Majority and other womenís
organizations have been asking the Bush administration to expand
peacekeeping troops beyond Kabul for the past six months. A series of
recent events throughout Afghanistan have shown the need for expansion of
peacekeeping forces both within and beyond Kabul is urgent.
The Feminist Majority was the first US group to launch a campaign against
gender apartheid in Afghanistan. For the past six years, the Feminist
Majority has led a public education campaign to bring the atrocities of
the Taliban to the worldís attention and to demand equality for Afghan
women. For more information on the Feminist Majority visit www.feminist.org.
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