At Hearing on Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy, Maloney Highlights Needs to Protect Rights of Women and Girls
WASHINGTON, DC — At today’s Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security hearing examining the Trump Administration’s Afghanistan strategy with Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and House sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, highlighted the need to protect the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan during peace negotiations with the Taliban.
In her questioning of Ambassador Khalilzad, Congresswoman Maloney stated, “In 2017, in a bipartisan way, we passed a very strong bill – the Women, Peace, and Security Act that recognized when rights and status of women are protected, societies are less violent, there’s less terrorism. Yet, in the agreement signed earlier [this year], there was nothing in it to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls. And we know that they were murdered for going to school, they were not allowed to learn, they could not work, they could not protect themselves in any way. And as our chief negotiator, you have said that the talks have to be Afghan-led and that’s true. But, we have leverage as the United States to stand up for the protection of women and girls.”
In responding to the Congresswoman, Ambassador Khalilzad stated, “The peace negotiations are not finished yet. We have had the phase dealing with terrorism and forces completed but, that has opened the door to other issues — the future of Afghanistan and complete and permanent ceasefire. And I want to promise to you, assure you, I know of your strong commitment and feelings in this regard and that reflects our values and my instructions that we will work very hard to make sure that the gains that have been made are built upon. And we will press all sides all sides in this regard and we will have the leverage of future relations and assistance in addition to what’s going on currently to advance the agenda we have on our values.”
You can watch the Congresswoman’s exchange with Ambassador Khalilzad below.