US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken announced the launch of the US-Afghan Consultative Mechanism, enabling US officials to engage more effectively with Afghan women and civil society.

The Atlantic Council, Sisterhood is Global Institute, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, United States Institute of Peace, and the US Department of State collaborated to establish the US-Afghan Consultative Mechanism (USACM).

The mechanism will bring together a range of members from various women’s coalitions, as well as civil society activists, journalists, intellectuals, legal experts, religious actors, and scholars from both inside and outside Afghanistan.

Speaking to the crowd during the US-Afghan Consultative Mechanism’s launch in late July, US Secretary Blinken provided some perspective on the lives of Afghan women and girls under the Taliban rule.

He stated that since the Taliban assumed power a year ago, they have rolled back the progress and openness made over the preceding decades and repressed civil society and journalists.

“They (the Taliban) continue to intimidate and send censor Afghan media outlets,” Blinken said. “They stifled the free practice of religion for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

Secretary Blinken was reported as stating in a statement released by the Department of State “What we want to do is to make our partnerships with Afghan civil society more effective, more rigorous, more productive, more purposeful. And that’s what this new initiative is all about.”

Blinken maintained that the Taliban’s decision to bar girls from attending school was a renunciation of commitments made to the Afghan people and the international community.

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has deteriorated the situation for women’s rights and for human rights as women are denied their fundamental rights, and press freedom is violated.

Author

  • Saqalain Eqbal is an Online Editor for Khaama Press. He is a Law graduate from The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).