Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement



feminist wire | daily newsbriefs


Hill Activity Increases on Behalf of Afghan Women

Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal Commends Bipartisan Efforts

Washington, DC—In a display of bi-partisan support for the women of Afghanistan, Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle together with the Feminist Majority today urged that Afghan women not be forgotten in the discussion of Afghanistan’s future. Commending the work of Afghan-led, humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced a resolution, supported by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), calling for the involvement of Afghan women’s organizations in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and for more funding to Afghan women NGO’s to provide critically needed health, education, and relief services to Afghan women and children.

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, whose Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid was the first to sound the alarm in the United States of the horrific treatment of women under the Taliban, commended the efforts of the Congresswomen and highlighted the important roles women played in Afghan society prior to the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in 1996.

“Without women’s participation and leadership, reconstructing a civil society in Afghanistan is not possible nor is it possible to eliminate terrorism. Prior to the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, Afghan women were 40% of the doctors, 70% of the teachers, and 30% of the civil servants. “However, once the Taliban forbade women from working and going outside their homes, the country’s medical and educational systems collapsed. The future of a peaceful stable and democratic Afghanistan depends in large measure upon the strength of the Afghan women.”

Slaughter’s resolution urges President Bush to encourage that any new government established in Afghanistan also include women as leaders and as full and active participants.

Smeal noted, “We have real momentum now in the drive to restore the rights of women. In addition to this effort of the House women, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on the floor of the Senate added an amendment to the Foreign Operations appropriations legislation that women should be a part of the peace process and that women’s rights must be restored in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Whip Harry Reid (D-NV), wearing a burqa swatch on the Senate floor on Monday, urged that Afghan women’s rights be restored.”

“We must not forget that Afghan women were the first victims of the Taliban,” reminded Smeal. “The Taliban’s policies and practices against women were an early warning. Now, as we seek to remove this terrorist regime that has wreaked havoc, we must return women to their rightful place in society. We must establish a broad-based constitutional democracy that restores women’s suffrage and insists that women be leaders and participants in that government.”

Media Resources: Feminist Majority

© 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

More Feminist News

10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost. The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot. SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy." "We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event. SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .