Momentum Building for Expansion of Peacekeeping Troops in Afghanistan
With both Democratic and Republican Senate leaders calling upon the Bush administration to support expansion of peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan, the Feminist Majority has stepped up an emergency call-in and e-mail campaign to provide the security necessary to promote women’s rights, democracy and reconstruction.
At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing yesterday, both Democratic and Republican leaders, including Chairman Senator Joseph Biden, ranking Republican Member Senator Richard Lugar, and Senator Barbara Boxer, the committee’s only woman member, called for US support for the expansion of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) beyond Kabul.
The Feminist Majority as well as representatives from other women’s rights groups and humanitarian aid organizations came to the hearing to express the dire need to expand ISAF for Afghan women. At the hearing, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said the Bush Administration is not opposed to expansion of peace troops. But Wolfowitz refused to commit to actions necessary to support and make possible the expansion of the mission, size, and jurisdiction of the international peace keeping force beyond Kabul.
Threats to Loya Jirga delegates who have spoken out for human rights, including outgoing Women’s Affairs Minister Dr. Sima Samar; the uprising of police against the appointed Interior Minister; violence against women in the Northern provinces; violence against humanitarian aid workers; and the use of tactics of intimidation against the return of girls to school in Kandahar show the need for expansion of peacekeeping forces both within and beyond Kabul is desperate.
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .