Female senators urge Biden to protect Afghan women and girls

“They are in jeopardy. We need to protect them,” the senators say.
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - In a bipartisan effort, all 24 female senators of the United States Congress are asking President Joe Biden in a letter to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls.

The letter comes in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Since August, activists say young girls have been sold or married off to older men so their families can buy food.

“Girls are considered to be a source of income for the most uneducated, poor families across the provinces,” said Yalda Afif, a program manager at HIAS.

Afif, a native of Afghanistan, works for the nonpartisan refugee protection organization in its New York office.

She said that in recent months, Afghanistan under the Taliban’s rule has back-peddled on its treatment of women and girls, dismantling the progress that has been made in the past two decades.

“They deny women and girls an education beyond sixth grade,” said Afif.

In the wake of this, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is leading an effort in the Senate along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California.).

“They are in jeopardy,” said Ernst. “We need to protect them.”

Ernst explained what she wants to see the Biden administration do.

“They need to enter into those deliberations with the Taliban government,” she said.

Ernst said so far, the Biden administration hasn’t done that.

As far as Congress is concerned, Ernst said lawmakers can continue to work on evacuating Afghan evacuees and special immigrant visas while working to protect the Afghan citizens that remain under the Taliban’s rule.

The Gray Television Washington News Bureau reached to the White House for comment on this story, and we are still waiting for a response.

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