Congresswoman Raises Concerns About Plight of Afghan Women
At yesterday's House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Emergency Supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) raised her concerns about the plight of women in Afghanistan. She stated that while women make up 46 percent of the population in Afghanistan, they have been denied opportunity to participate in their society for years. According to Lowey, "there is progress being made and just last week a group of women...met to write a bill on women's rights...but there is much more that needs to be done."
In addition, Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) expressed his concerns about the Bush Administration's $87 billion supplemental request - which provides only $800 million for Afghanistan reconstruction funding compared with $20 billion for Iraq reconstruction. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Biden wrote, "Inadequate funding is just one way the president has failed to make good on his pledge of a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan. He has also failed to provide the leadership necessary to encourage the rest of the world to join in the rebuilding effort." Biden asserted that "the best way to bring stability to Afghanistan is finally to expand the United Nations-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)" - something the United States has been reluctant to do so far even though Congress authorized $1 billion for the expansion of ISAF under the 2002 Afghan Freedom Support Act.
According to the New York Times, officials at NATO headquarters said they could send an additional 2,000 to 10,000 peacekeepers into larger provincial cities in Afghanistan. Gunter Pleuger, Germany's ambassador to the UN, recently said that the force could operate in eight regional cities to help with the stabilization of Afghanistan before the June 2004 elections, reports the New York Times.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .