At today's Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the $87 billion supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) raised concerns about vulnerable populations in Afghanistan and Iraq, including women. She pointed to a Human Rights Watch Report and threats against girls going to school as examples of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.
At the hearing today, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld pointed out that 75 percent of the $87 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq will go to the troops "who are risking their lives in this struggle" in Iraq and Afghanistan. Only $1.2 billion is included for Afghanistan, out of which only $300 million is designated for the construction of roads, school and clinics.
Even though Rumsfeld stated that what the international peacekeeping troops (ISAF) are "doing is important for Afghanistan" and the commander of the United States Central Command, General John Abizaid, acknowledged that Al Qaeda and Taliban forces "are conducting low-level guerilla and terrorist attacks" in Afghanistan "to obstruct reconstruction efforts and incite chaos," neither made any mention of the desperate need to expand the international peacekeeping troops (ISAF) beyond Kabul.
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, 45 women presented President Hamid Karzai with their own Afghan Women's Bill of Rights in Kandahar. This document guarantees an education, health care, personal security, and support for widows with the freedom to vote, to speech, and with a guarantee of right to orphans, disabled women and widows.
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. . . .