WASHINGTON, DC : Congressman William Keating has introduced bipartisan legislation that would reaffirm U.S. policy to ensure Afghan women have a chance to participate in ongoing peace negotiations.
The Afghan Women’s Inclusion in Negotiations Act, or Afghan WIN Act, addresses the role women have played in advancing peace, stability and democracy in Afghanistan.
The bill requires that the State Department report to Congress on efforts to include women in the negotiations, and prepare a strategy for U.S. engagement in Afghanistan after a peace deal is reached to ensure the rights of women and girls.
“Women’s participation in peace negotiations has time and time again proven to lead to more lasting peace agreements,” Keating (D-Bourne) said in a statement.
He said the act was introduced to ensure that everything Americans, Afghans and allies have fought for and sacrificed to secure a peaceful and stable future for Afghanistan has not been done in vain.
“Afghan women continue to risk their lives to root out terrorism in their communities, build a better future for Afghan children, and fight for democratic reforms that will bring greater safety and security for all Afghan people,” Keating said.
“It is easy to forget that the atrocities and human rights abuses committed against women and girls were a major reason for continuing our fight in Afghanistan, and in recent decades, women have made incredible gains.”
Women are now active participants in their communities and in the economy.
“They vote in elections, they work in universities and in medical professions, they are entrepreneurs, and they represent Afghan citizens in the National Assembly, ministries, local government, and in Afghanistan’s diplomatic corps,” Keating said.
“In this pivotal moment – as negotiations are ongoing to hopefully bring this conflict to a peaceful resolution – we cannot let up on our commitment to women and their meaningful participation during and after the peace process. Afghanistan’s future and our own national security depends on it.”
Congressmen Keating was joined by Members of Congress Ann Wagner (R-MO), Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Joe Wilson (R-SC) in introducing this legislation.
Keating is the Chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment.
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