Pakistan officials are refusing to allow a new crush of Afghan refugees who have fled their homes in search of a safeguard from the Taliban militia that occupies 95 percent of the country. Over 170,000 Afghan refugees have already crossed the border to Pakistan and live in camps without sufficient shelter, drinking water or food—hundreds die every week from starvation and freezing winter temperatures. The situation in Afghanistan is compounded by the worst drought to hit the country in 30 years and a bitterly cold winter.
In addition to the drought and severe winter conditions, women and girls are fleeing Afghanistan to escape the brutal gender apartheid imposed by the Taliban regime, which strips women of education, employment, and mobility, placing women and girls into a state of virtual house arrest.
Help the women and girls of Afghanistan! Take action today and urge President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell to continue to withhold United Nations recognition of the Taliban militia until the rights of Afghan women and girls are fully and permanently restored, increase humanitarian assistance, and allow more Afghan women and girls into the US as refugees.
Media Resources: Associated Press – February 9, 2001; Feminist Majority Foundation