International Efforts

Congresswoman Maloney has been a long-time supporter of the United Nations Population Fund, aiding global efforts to prevent and treat obstetric fistula, and passing the Afghan Women’s Act.

United Nations Population Fund

As a strong defender of international family planning, Congresswoman Maloney has been a longtime supporter of UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund). Throughout her time in Congress, Republicans have tried to cut funding to the UNFPA, especially during the Bush administration. Despite these efforts to thwart funding from UNFPA, Congresswoman Maloney has fought to reinstate and continue American funding of the organization to help women around the world gain access to family planning, safer pregnancies and childbirth, and overall better health care.

UNFPA has been, and continues to be, a leader in the renewed commitment of the world community to stabilize global population and improve the status of women. The Agency operates in over 150 nations in the world and supplies ¼ of all grant assistance to population programs worldwide; more than ½ of UNFPA’s assistance is devoted to maternal and child health programs, including voluntary family planning.

Thanks to the UNFPA’s efforts, in 2014 64 countries had made gender action plans that include reproductive rights, 43 countries bettered the quality of their emergency health care, and the number of countries with laws that allow adolescents to access sexual and reproductive health services increased from 74 in 2013 to 86 in 2014.


Obstetric Fistula

Congresswoman Maloney strongly supports a comprehensive approach to end obstetric fistula – prevention to eliminate occurrences, treatment to repair those women who already suffer, and rehabilitation to help those recovering fully heal and reenter society. The Congresswoman sponsored the Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope and Dignity Restoration Act, which focuses on efforts to build local capacity and improve national systems to prevent and treat obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula is devastating; but does not have to be life-shattering.  This bill would provide hope and a healthy future. 

More than two million women worldwide have obstetric fistula resulting from prolonged labor without medical attention. The pressure created internally on a woman from this obstructed delivery kills tissue and a hole develops between the woman’s vagina and rectum, leaving the woman without control of her bladder and and/or bowels for the rest of her life without treatment, and often results in stillbirth.  Many women with obstetric fistula are abandoned by their husbands and families because they are considered "unclean". Left without support, the women are often forced to beg or turn to prostitution to survive.

Obstetric fistula is preventable through medical interventions such as skilled birth attendants during labor and childbirth, providing access to family planning, and emergency obstetric care for women who develop complications as well as social interventions such as delaying early marriage and educating and empowering young women. Surgical repair has enabled many women and girls to physically recover from an obstetric fistula, but an estimated 2 million more women and girls are currently struggling with the devastating impact of an obstetric fistula and tens of thousands of additional cases continue to occur each year. Bipartisan legislation could help many of these women by providing aid to multilateral partners, such as UNFPA and the Campaign to End Obstetric Fistula, and to bilateral organizations, such as USAID, to aid in the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula in foreign countries. 


Afghan Women Empowerment Act

Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Afghan Women Empowerment Act in 2006, which would provide federal funding to Afghan women and girls for medical care, education, vocational training, protection from violence, legal assistance, and civil participation. 

The state of women in Afghanistan has severely worsened over the last several decades. At one point in recent history, women were doctors, lawyers, government officials and university professors .They were allowed to serve their country in deep and meaningful ways through public and private employment. However, in recent years as terrorism has spread through the region, there have been many attacks on women, preventing them from keeping their jobs, getting an education, and in some cases even going out in public for fear of being persecuted or attacked. There is also no established rule of law, so when women are attacked, they often have no legal recourse to go after their attacker, putting their security at an even greater risk.

As a supporter of women’s rights internationally, Congresswoman Maloney supports increased efforts to promote women’s rights in Afghanistan, especially given the amount of US influence on the nation. 

More on International Efforts

Mar 8, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, on International Women’s Day, Congresswomen Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) reintroduced their resolution calling for the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Adopted by the United Nations in 1979, CEDAW is a landmark international agreement which mandates that governments take positive steps for women’s advancement and eradicate laws, customs, and practices that discriminate against women.


Oct 21, 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

As you know, we lost a giant of the US Congress yesterday – Chairman Elijah E. Cummings. Our nation has lost a true leader and pioneer, and I have lost a dear friend and mentor. 

In this day and age with our politics plagued by coarseness and personal attacks, Elijah represented grace, dignity and empathy under the most trying of circumstances. He was at his best when others were at their worst.

He leaves behind an enduring legacy: his fight for fairness, justice, and equality. His work, wisdom and integrity should be an inspiration to us all. 

Oct 17, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) joined Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) to introduce the Support UNFPA Funding Act of 2019. Other co-leads of the bill include Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA). Since taking office, the Administration has withdrawn all funding from the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, which is the lead UN agency working to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. To combat this move, these champions for women are taking a stand and introducing legislation that authorizes funding for UNFPA.
Jul 24, 2019 In The News

The Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, held in Kabul from late April to early May, brought together at least 3,200 Afghans—of which roughly 30 percent were women—to discuss a framework for talks with the Taliban. The five-day gathering ended with a 23-article resolution that included demands to end the bloodshed; preserve the constitution; safeguard women’s rights, including the right to education; and include women on the negotiating team.

May 24, 2019 Newsletter
Dear Friend, First, I would like to wish you and your families a Happy Memorial Day as we honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend this country. Second, I would like to announce that that I've been working with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to host a hearing on the 2020 Census here in NYC. It will take place this Tuesday, May 28 at 2pm at LaGuardia Community College's The Little Theater. If you can't join us, live stream here. I also want to give you a run down on what I was up to in Washington, DC this week.
May 20, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that he document how the United States is working to make sure that Afghan women are included in the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Taliban. The Congresswoman met earlier this month with Dr.

May 14, 2019 In The News
Feminist advocates last week met with leading lawmakers on Capitol Hill to amplify calls for an equitable peace process in Afghanistan being made by women on the ground. “Under Taliban rule, Afghan women suffered under crushing oppression and are now speaking up to demand a seat at the table,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said in a statement after meeting with a delegation led by Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), “and they should have one.”
May 8, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) released the following statement after her meeting today with Dr. Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Apr 23, 2019 Press Release
NEW YORK, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), House sponsor of the resolution to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), released the following statement after the Trump Administration’s veto threat forced the removal of language supporting sexual violence victims’ right to healthcare from a UN Security Council resolution on reducing and addressing sexual violence in conflicts.
Apr 22, 2019 Press Release
NEW YORK, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), House sponsor of the resolution to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), today wrote a letter urging Secretary of State Pompeo to support a UN Security Council resolution on reducing and addressing sexual violence in conflicts. The Congresswoman’s letter comes after reports that the United States has threatened to veto the resolution.