The omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and sent to the White House yesterday includes $75,000,000 for programs that aid Afghan women and girls. The final language in the bill also requires that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA), and Afghan women-led nonprofit organizations receive funding. The final bill restores the language originally passed by the House. The Senate language watered down the House-passed language requiring funding for Afghan women and girls and eliminated the AIHRC and the MOWA altogether as recipients of this bill.
The Feminist Majority led the fight to restore the stronger House language with an intense lobbying campaign. Representatives Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) worked within Congress to secure the critically needed funds for programs that directly address the needs of Afghan women and girls. Along with 7 co-signers, they sent a letter to the chair and ranking members of the House Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related expressing “strong support for the language included in the House passed” appropriations bill.
“The funding in this bill represents a real victory for women and girls of Afghanistan. We must continue to ensure that Congress does not forget the women and girls of Afghanistan,” said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal.