The Department of State announced on December 29, 2021, the appointments of two women who will work for the support of Afghan women, girls, and human rights. Rina Amiri and Stephanie Foster will work in positions that will support the relocation and resettlement efforts as well as advance the rights of women in Afghanistan.
The Department of State has announced that Rina Amiri has been appointed to the role of special envoy for Afghan women, girls, and human rights. Amiri is an Afghan-born U.S. scholar and mediation expert. Amira will report directly to Secretary Blinken. She was the director of the Afghanistan and Regional Policy Initiative at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation. She is a former member of the Obama administration – serving as a senior advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She also served as a member of the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary General’s political team in Afghanistan during the course of the implementation of the Bonn Agreement.
The Department of State has announced that Stephanie Foster is the new senior advisor for women and girls’ issues in the Afghan relocation effort. Foster will work as a part of the Department of State’s Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts (CARE) team. Foster served in the U.S. Department of State from 2012 to 2017. She was a senior advisor in the Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and as a Women and Civil Society Advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. She also served during the Clinton administration in the U.S. General Services Administration. Foster has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and the legal profession as well.
Women in the Taliban Era
Women and girls of Afghanistan are living under dire circumstances now that the Taliban have taken power across the country. The Taliban government is composed of all males – with one or two women in token secondary positions. The hardline Islamist group has returned the country to an observance of strict Shari’a law. Women are now barred from most occupations and girls, in most of the country, are no longer able to attend secondary schooling. Travel outside of the home requires a male escort from a family member. The Taliban have also adopted strict clothing requirements for women.
“Leadership on Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights: Rina Amiri and Stephanie Foster”, U.S. Department of State, December 29, 2021.
“Blinken appoints senior officials to address women’s rights in Afghanistan”, by Laura Kelly, The Hill, December 29, 2021.
“Blinken Appoints Two Women to Oversee U.S. Efforts to Support Rights of Afghan Women and Girls”, Gandhara, December 29, 2021.