Pelosi ‘deeply concerned’ for women amid Taliban gains in Afghanistan
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday voiced her concern for women and girls in Afghanistan as the Taliban closes in on control of the country.
In a statement releaed Saturday evening, Pelosi called on the international community to protect women and girls from the “inhumane inhumane treatment by the Taliban.”
“The Taliban must know that the world is watching its actions. We are deeply concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls,” she said.
“Any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table. The fate of women and girls in Afghanistan is critical to the future of Afghanistan. As we strive to assist women, we must recognize that their voices are important, and all must listen to them for solutions, respectful of their culture,” Pelosi stated.
The Taliban made significant military gains in Afghanistan in the past week. On Friday, the insurgent group overtook Afghanistan’s second- and third-largest cities in the country, and on Saturday, they took over the Afghan government’s northern stronghold, Mazar-i-Sharif.
The rapid expansion of the Taliban has prompted international concern, and U.S. officials and lawmakers worry that the group is closing in on the country’s capital of Kabul.
In response to the Taliban, President Biden issued a statement Saturday, announcing that the U.S. would send 5,000 troops to the country to help evacuate U.S. personnel. The president also defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, ending America’s 20-year involvement in the region.
“Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in US history,” Biden said.
“One more year, or five more years, of US military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me,” he added.
Pelosi said that she commended Biden’s “clarity of purpose” in his statement released Saturday afternoon.
“Once again, I want to acknowledge the clarity of purpose of President Biden’s statement and the wisdom of his actions,” Pelosi stated. “Most of all, we join the President in acknowledging the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and their families.”
Women and girls would be at risk should the Taliban completely takeover of the country. Pelosi acknowledged the advances women made in the past 20 years for women and girls, calling it “one of the successes of U.S.- NATO cooperation in Afghanistan.”
Other Democrats earlier this week voiced concern about women’s rights in Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s offensive.
“As the Taliban take over the country at breakneck speed, commandeering everything from artillery to helicopters and executing gov’t soldiers who surrender, our Afghan partners, judges, lawyers, teachers, scholars, journalists, human rights defenders — many of them women — are desperate to escape to safety in a third country,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) tweeted this week.
“There is bipartisan support to assist the women and girls of Afghanistan,” Pelosi concluded.