Monday, March 09, 2015

Afghan Girls Need Your Support Today (Feminist Majority)

The Feminist Majority issued the following yesterday:

Today is International Women's Day, which is a day we call attention not only to the achievements of women but to the fight for equality around the world. The Feminist Majority has been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghan women and girls in the fight against Taliban oppression for 18 years. Since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, many Afghan women and girls are going to school, have entered the paid workforce, and have benefited from a significantly reduced maternal mortality rate. But the Taliban has not gone entirely away and is threatening constantly women and girls' advancement and security. We must remain shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghan women and girls.

Many Afghan women leaders as well as ordinary Afghans are saying their number one concern is security, and they want the remaining U.S. support troops to stay. We support the Afghan women's groups concerns. This is no time to leave Afghanistan completely when women and girls are making progress and the new unity government, pledged to women's empowerment, is trying to move forward.

President Obama is right now reviewing his decision to withdraw 5,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2015 and ALL troops by the end of 2016. Afghan women and girls have come too far to be turned back now. If the Taliban returns, too many of the women who have gone to work and school and who have taken on leadership in government or in the several hundred established Afghan women's groups, will be killed. We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these courageous women. 

For women's lives and equality,

Eleanor Smeal
President, Feminist Majority