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Posts Tagged ‘Maloney’

What the USA is NOT doing to eliminate Violence against Women in Afghanistan.

Not to be blasé about it, but there was never any doubt we were going to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan and maybe even Somalia for quite a while. All three of the remaining presidential contenders supported last year the possibility of increased action.

In front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, SOS Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) laid the groundwork for the civilian, NGO and diplomatic core that will follow the military to Afghanistan and Pakistan this year. I saw grousing on the Internet about lack of Alliance support. In fact, the SOS was, after her meeting, to fly to Belgium to attempt just that. I saw grumbling about why we were in the war, and whether Obama had let the Obats down. I read about people like Moore and Hayden tearing off the blinders and refusing to drink the Kool-aid. I continue to be stunned that some of us were so much smarter then they. Then, I heard one soul, over at KDIC, decry this statement, where remarkably, SOS HRC said:

“We are on track to triple the number of civilian positions in Afghanistan to 974 by early next year”.

This is a pitiful number. Truly, the speaker at KDIC is right to be upset that an additional 600 or fewer civilians will be called upon to help the Afghani effort next year. However, the remarkable part of the sentence is that the figure will TRIPLE what is already there.

Our nation has additional responsibilities beyond that of guns and planes. So far in eight years, we have done very little economically and diplomatically to facilitate the emergence of a vital and stable Afghanistan. Beyond that, in light of the 16 days International Campaign Toward the Elimination of Violence against Women, we have failed on another front-Congress.

Let’s not forget the “Afghan Women Empowerment Act of 2007” introduced by Representative Maloney and it’s twin by Senator Boxer, sent to rigor mortis at the respective foreign committees. Oh sure, the Feminist Majority and others have pushed. However, most of the members of Congress haven’t done their part to provide the tiniest measure of help to women in Afghanistan. The bill was reintroduced in April of this year to the house as HR 2214Afghan Women Empowerment Act of 2009, and in January as S.229 under the same name. Again it was referred to the relative foreign relations committees. Again it sits.

I linked the house and senate text versions to their numbers above. However, to give you an idea of the bill, the CRS Index terms, which are used to identify key themes in a bill, is the following:

International affairs

Afghanistan

Asia

Foreign aid and international relief

Human rights

International organizations and cooperation

Sex, gender, sexual orientation discrimination

Women’s rights

Here is a list of the Senate cosponsors:

Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 6/1/2009

Sen Burris, Roland [IL] – 9/14/2009

Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] – 10/26/2009

Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 8/6/2009

Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] – 7/15/2009

Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] – 7/28/2009

Sen Franken, Al [MN] – 11/4/2009

Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 4/29/2009

Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 7/13/2009

Sen Kaufman, Edward E. [DE] – 6/23/2009

Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 5/4/2009

Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] – 7/31/2009

Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] – 4/27/2009

Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 10/14/2009

Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] – 7/28/2009

Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] – 12/1/2009

Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 7/28/2009

Here is a list of the House cosponsors:

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] – 9/15/2009

Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] – 4/30/2009

Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] – 7/24/2009

Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] – 9/16/2009

Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] – 9/15/2009

Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 9/8/2009

Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] – 9/8/2009

Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] – 9/8/2009

Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] – 9/8/2009

Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] – 7/29/2009

Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] – 7/28/2009

Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] – 10/14/2009

Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] – 10/20/2009

Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] – 7/28/2009

Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 9/8/2009

Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] – 6/3/2009

Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] – 7/28/2009

Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] – 10/22/2009

Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] – 9/22/2009

Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] – 5/12/2009

Rep Wu, David [OR-1] – 9/8/2009

The allocation of money provided in this bill is a tiny sum compared to the vast amounts we have allocated for the war. The House bill asks for 150 million for each year between 2010 and 2112. The Senate bill asks for a paltry 45 million for the same period. (I know the word paltry is hard to swallow for some of us, but try to keep in mind what we have spent elsewhere this year.)

One cannot have a war without allocating funds to it. Concomitantly, one cannot have a war without provision for the effects upon civilians. Above and beyond that however, is the general question of what we as a country are willing to toward the progress of women as equal partners in the world. Whether or not we leave Afghanistan today, the OTHER war is waging. So, when a bill like this, designed to facilitate civilian impact of the guns and planes, can’t get out of committee, you have to look to other reasons why. Some of the following people are also on the above lists. Many of the following people have inserted viewpoints regarding the Afghan War on their Congressional web pages. Contact them and find out why the bill isn’t part of their statement. Or hey, contact them anyway and tell them YOUR viewpoint. Or not. Maybe, like Greenwald, you have some inane idea that helping women is the equivalent of nation building. It isn’t. It’s nation changing. And we all have to do it.

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

John Kerry, Chair

Christopher J. Dodd

Russell D. Feingold

Barbara Boxer

Robert Menendez

Benjamin L. Cardin

Robert P. Casey Jr.

Jim Webb

Jeanne Shaheen

Edward E. Kaufman

Kirsten E. Gillibrand

Richard G Lugar, Ranking Member

Bob Corker

Johnny Isakson

James E. Risch

Jim DeMint

John Barrasso

Roger F. Wicker

James M. Inhofe

House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Howard L. Berman, CHAIRMAN, D-CA, 28th District

Gary L. Ackerman, VICE CHAIR, D-NY, 5th District

Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa

Donald M. Payne, D-NJ, 10th District

Brad Sherman, D-CA, 27th District

Eliot L. Engel, D-NY, 17th District

Bill Delahunt, D-MA, 10th District

Gregory W. Meeks, D-NY, 6th District

Diane E. Watson, D-CA, 33rd District

Russ Carnahan, D-MO, 3rd District

Albio Sires, D-NJ, 13th District

Gerald E. Connolly, D-VA, 11th District

Michael E. McMahon, D-NY, 13th District

John S. Tanner, D-TN, 8th District

Gene Green, D-TX, 29th District

Lynn Woolsey, D-CA, 6th District

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, 18th District

Barbara Lee, D-CA, 9th District

Shelley Berkley, D-NV, 1st District

Joseph Crowley, D-NY, 7th District

Mike Ross, D-AR, 4th District

Brad Miller, D-NC, 13th District

David Scott, D-GA, 13th District

Jim Costa, D-CA, 20th District

Keith Ellison, D-MN, 5th District

Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, 8th District

Ron Klein, D-FL, 22nd District

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, RANKING MEMBER, R-FL, 18th District

Christopher H. Smith, R-NJ, 4th District

Dan Burton, R-IN, 5th District

Elton Gallegly, R-CA, 24th District

Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, 46th District

Donald A. Manzullo, R-IL, 16th District

Edward R. Royce, R-CA, 40th District

Ron Paul, R-TX, 14th District

Jeff Flake, R-AZ, 6th District

Mike Pence, R-IN, 6th District

Joe Wilson, R-SC, 2nd District

John Boozman, R-AR, 3rd District

J. Gresham Barrett, R-SC, 3rd District

Connie Mack, R-FL, 14th District

Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE, 1st District

Michael T. McCaul, R-TX, 10th District

Ted Poe, R-TX, 2nd District

Bob Inglis, R-SC, 4th District

Gus Bilirakis, R-FL, 9th District

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Remember Rwanda?

That small African country from whence recent one of our last genocide movies sprung? The object of Clintonian apologies, and current service? At a population of now, around 70% women, and a country with many struggles still ahead, Rwanda has achieved this:

(more…)

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