Ernst, Female Colleagues Slam Taliban’s Refusal to Open Secondary Education to Afghan Girls
WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a combat veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following joint statement with U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) in response to the Taliban’s decision to renege on its promise to open schools to Afghan girls above the sixth grade:
“The Taliban’s decision to continue to deny girls access to secondary education confirms what we warned was a goal of the Taliban’s all along: the unraveling of education and other hard-won rights for Afghan women and girls,” said the Senators. “Banning girls from going to school beyond Grade 6 is part of the Taliban’s broader assault on women’s education, rights and freedoms in Afghanistan – all of which come amid a devastating humanitarian crisis that’s hitting women and children the hardest. Each day that passes under Taliban rule turns back the clock on progress made by generations of Afghan women to ensure they and future generations could go to school, have the freedom to move about safely and participate in the workforce. As women of the Senate, across party lines we are calling on the U.S. and the international community to hold the Taliban accountable for reneging on its commitment and denying women and girls their fundamental human rights. The U.S. must uphold its obligation to advocate for girls’ education and the freedom of movement for teachers and students across the country. We cannot turn a blind eye to this injustice, and we must continue to lead the international community in condemning the Taliban for its hardline, oppressive policies that deny women basic rights and opportunities and hold entire societies back.”
Last November, Ernst and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) led all 24 female senators in a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden calling on him to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.