A bipartisan letter led by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., urged the administration to create an “interagency plan” and lead the international community in holding the Taliban accountable.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images)
“Lacking a legitimate Afghan government and military forces to protect them, women and girls are now suffering the predations of a Taliban regime,” said the letter, signed by the 22 other U.S. female senators. “Women have been the victims of targeted beatings and killings and are banned from leaving home without a male guardian.”
Prior to the Taliban takeover, an estimated 3.5 million girls attended school while an additional 100,000 women were enrolled in universities in 2020.
The Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry additionally reported last year that there were more than 1,000 new female entrepreneurs, and women were elected to senior levels in the Afghan government.
A Taliban fighter (left) makes a hand gesture asking the photojournalists to stop covering a demonstration by women protesters in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 30, 2021. (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Following what Biden described as a “messy” withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan, the interim Taliban regime promised to continue to allow women to work and permit girls to attend school.
Though in the three months that have followed the Taliban takeover, reports have surfaced showing suppressive efforts by the Taliban to stymie Afghan women’s rights.
“Afghan women and girls made significant strides under the Afghan government —earning college degrees, joining the workforce, and participating in public life,” Ernst told Fox News. “Because of America’s withdrawal, Taliban rule of the country now puts that progress — and their basic human rights — at risk.
“Every single one of my female Senate colleagues and I are sending a unified, clear message calling on President Biden to uphold his promise to protect these women and girls,” she added.
The group of female senators reminded the Biden administration of its commitment “to press the Taliban to uphold the rights of women and girls.”
“You have stated that America will maintain an enduring partnership with the people of Afghanistan resisting Taliban rule,” the group added.
Students who want to be midwives attend class Oct. 13, 2021, at the Community Midwifery Education School in Maidan Shar of Wardak province in Afghanistan. (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Fox News could not confirm a deadline on when the senators would like to see action by the Biden administration.
But the letter promised to support the efforts to create protective measures and hold the Taliban accountable.
“Afghan women and girls need our action now,” the senators wrote. “We request and look forward to a briefing from the Administration on your plan.”