President Bush signed the Afghan Freedom Support Act yesterday. The Act, approved by both houses of Congress last month, authorizes $2.3 billion in aid to Afghanistan over four years and $1 billion to expand international peacekeeping troops. The Act also includes language by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that makes Afghan women a funding priority, earmarking $15 million each year for the Ministry of Women's Affairs and $5 million each year for the Independent Human Rights Commission.
The version of the Afghan Freedom Support Act that was signed into law was the product of bipartisan support, and the leadership of Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and Richard Lugar (R-IN), along with Boxer.
The Feminist Majority—which spearheaded the lobbying effort for the expansion of international peacekeeping forces and for funds for the Women's Ministry, Human Rights Commission, and women's programs—and Congressional allies now will turn to the appropriations process to secure the funds authorized by the Act.