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Legislation Requires Department of Defense to Develop a Three Part Strategy to Promote the Security of Women and Girls in Afghanistan

Washington, DC — U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).  The Afghan Women and Girls Security Promotion Act would require the Department of Defense to produce a strategy to promote the security of Afghan women and girls during the transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces process. 

“The transfer of security responsibility to Afghan forces threatens to once again restrict Afghan women’s mobility and opportunities,” said Senator Casey. “Afghan women are committed to fighting for their rights and contributing to their country’s future, and making women’s security a priority during the transition period will go a long way toward achieving our overall goal of a secure and stable Afghanistan for the future.”

The legislation would require a three-part strategy to promote the security of Afghan women and girls by monitoring and responding to changes in women’s security, improving gender sensitivity and responsiveness among Afghan National Security personnel, and increasing the recruitment and retention of women in the Afghan National Security Forces. The Department of Defense would also be required to include an assessment of actions taken to implement the strategy and its results in its semi-annual reports to Congress on progress toward security and stability in Afghanistan.

The amendment has also received support from experts in international advocacy organizations, including Amnesty International: 

"As the United States military transitions out of Afghanistan, Afghan women's human rights continue to be at grave risk and demand urgent attention," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director, Amnesty International USA.  "The fate of women will be a crucial determinant of that country's prospects for a stable and prosperous future.  We applaud Senator Casey and Senator Hutchinson for demonstrating remarkable leadership to ensure that the U.S. does its part to empower women and ensure that their security needs are a priority."

Senator Casey’s legislation has been co-sponsored by Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibran (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (I-AK), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).