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IN THE NEWS

LETTER FROM CONGRESS

06 Jun 2019

Congress sends letter to Secretary Pompeo on Afghan Women

A bi-partisan group of Members of Congress sent a letter today to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to ensure that Afghan women are equally and meaningfully represented in the peace process and that any agreement protects women’s rights. Research by the International Peace Institute shows that when women have a substantive role in peace negotiations, the likelihood the agreement will last beyond 15 years increases by as much as 35 percent. Recognizing the importance of women’s participation, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Women, Peace, and Security Act. As you know, that law makes it U.S. policy to promote women's meaningful participation in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts. Women from across Afghanistan have come together in an unprecedented way to call for their equal and meaningful participation in any ceasefire and peace process. Yet, when American diplomats met with the Taliban in Doha this February and May, Afghan women were not represented. Afghan women’s voices need to be heard – not just on women’s rights, but on the future of their country.  The letter ends, “As negotiations with the Taliban continue, women’s perspectives and the preservation of women’s rights and human rights should be at the center of your efforts, including by ensuring that women have a meaningful seat at the table. Sustainable peace in the country and the region depends upon it.”

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