Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Donna Edwards (D-MD), Co-Chairs of the Afghan Women's Task Force, released a joint statement following President Obama's remarks concerning the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan last night.
"As our armed forces begin to draw down in Afghanistan, it is critical that the United States engage directly with Afghan leaders and the international community to ensure women play a meaningful role in the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Plan. We share the concerns of Afghanistan's female Members of Parliament, civic, and business leaders that a US drawdown could leave a vacuum where Afghan women see their rights trampled in a government transition. This would eliminate the tenuous gains Afghan women have made over the last decade and is unacceptable. We urge the Obama Administration to not only protect the rights of Afghan women in the upcoming peace process, but to pressure all involved parties to allow Afghan women to advocate on their own behalf."
As the transition commences, the Afghan Women's Task Force will focus on mentoring programs for Afghanistan's female Members of Parliament, prospective elected officials, and civic and business leaders.