After US troops withdrew from Afghanistan on August 15, the Taliban captured Kabul. The Taliban ruling power is reversing gender equality steps. Men take on women’s jobs, male guardians have control over women, and women are not allowed to attend schools. It is estimated that 1.4 million Afghan women are at risk and lack valuable support.

Grassroots programs have helped Afghan women become journalists, doctors, innovators and leaders by teaching literacy. At the start of COVID-19, an Afghan girl-only robotics team developed low-cost ventilators to address the lack of equipment. In addition, 27% of the seats in the National Assembly or the Afghan Parliament were reserved for women. The Borgen Project, a US-based non-profit national campaign to end extreme poverty in the world, works to protect women and girls affected by the Taliban.

I urge our leaders, Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe and Rep. Kevin Hern, to support Afghan women and girls by asking them to issue special immigrant visas to women at risk, distribute resettlement resources and invest in women, those in the country. The US can make a difference for women and girls in Afghanistan by restoring their autonomy and making the world a safer place.

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