Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-24-10

Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Afghan Women and Girls

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Robert Casey (D-PA) held a joint subcommittee hearing yesterday of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Afghan Women and Girls: Building the Future of Afghanistan.

Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, traveled from Afghanistan to testify. Dr. Samar provided invaluable insight on the current situation of women and girls in Afghanistan. She warned: "women must be included in the reconciliation process and their voices must be heard." She noted, "at the recent conference on Afghanistan in London, no women or human rights activists were included in our (Afghanistan's) delegation. After the recent elections in the country, only one woman was approved as a minister despite the lobbying efforts of women's rights activists."

Rachel Reid of Human Rights Watch also traveled from Afghanistan to testify. In her testimony, she said that most women she's spoken with want "peace and justice, transparency and inclusion, [and] no illusions about "moderate Taliban.'" Other "non-negotiables" include access to education and health care, freedom to work and participate politically, and maintenance of constitutional protections of these rights.

Melanne Verveer, the United State's first Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, announced an updated Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization strategy, which now includes a major section on women's inclusion in the stabilization process and integrates women and girls in every other section. At the hearing, she testified that the "stabilization strategy recognizes women as agents of change and underscores their importance to our civilian stabilization plan and our efforts to strengthen Afghan communities' capacity to withstand the threat posed by extremism. It establishes women's empowerment as critical to unleashing the full economic potential of the Afghan people."

In her statement at the hearing, Senator Boxer said, "progress is at risk as Afghan President Hamid Karzai moves to reintegrate elements of the Taliban into local and national politics and society through a process called reconciliation. It is critical that Afghan women play a meaningful role in any reconciliation process so that women's rights and freedoms are guaranteed."

Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, who attended the hearing, stated, "Dr. Samar came at a crucial time. It is critical that Afghan women's voices are heard as this reconciliation and peace process develops." She continued, "Dr. Samar provided invaluable information on the plight of Afghan women and girls and the need to ensure their participation in any reconciliation process."

Media Resources: Testimony of Sima Samar 2/23/10; Testimony of Melanne Verveer 2/23/10; Testimony of Rachel Reid 2/23/10; Statement of Barbara Boxer 2/23/10; Interview with Eleanor Smeal 2/24/10


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado - Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion. In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Obama Administration Issues New Rule to Strengthen Response to Campus Sexual Violence - The Obama Administration announced a new rule last week to more effectively address sexual violence on college campuses by increasing transparency around campus disciplinary proceedings involving sexual violence and establishing rights for survivors within those proceedings. The new rule, announced by the Department of Education, implements changes to the Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid in the United States to publicly report crime information. . . .