May 26, 2011
Rep. Susan Davis Ties Afghan Infrastructure Funds to Greater Involvement for Afghan Women
WASHINGTON – An amendment offered by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) would withhold federal funds from the Afghan government to ensure that women play a role in the country's reconciliation.
Davis's amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540) states that not more than 25% of the money for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund for fiscal year 2012 may be used unless the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, certifies to Congress that Afghan women are an integral part of any reconciliation process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
"We have heard that investment in women is often crucial in order for developing countries to see returns on economic growth and development," said Davis, a senior member on the House Armed Services Committee. "By ensuring women are being brought to the table, we can truly know how much progress is being made with regards to the rights of Afghan women. We should not walk away from our responsibility to these women and to the advancement of basic human rights."
Having recently returned from a congressional trip to Kabul and Kandahar where Davis met with women from all walks of life, it was clear to her and the bipartisan group of congresswomen on the trip that developing the potential of women at all levels of Afghan society is crucial to the future development of a peaceful nation.
"Quite simply, the protection of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan and their full and equal participation in Afghan civil society is essential to the development of stability in Afghanistan," said Davis.
Davis's amendment was included with a group of en bloc amendments that passed the House.