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Appeal to George W. Bush, President of The United States

05/24/2002

Dear President Bush:

We the undersigned women leaders and women's rights organizations ask you to take emergency action to protect the lives and secure the future of Afghan women.

  • Unlike most wars, U.S. women supported the war against the Taliban in unprecedented numbers -- in large part because they believed your promises that it would liberate Afghan women from abuse and oppression.
  • Your refusal to expand the size and scope of peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan -- as requested by Afghan women leaders, and also by the Afghan Interim Authority and the United Nations -- has left the women of Afghanistan in great danger. There are alarming reports of rapes, lootings, beatings, kidnappings and other intimidation in Afghanistan. This insecurity is compromising teh reconstruction of Afghanistan and the delivery of aid promised to the Afghan people to help them feed, clothe, house, educate, heal and rebuild their country.

Mr. President, your refusal of responsibility for peacekeeping in Afghanistan is a betrayal of teh hope that your own words have inspired. It will haunt you on election day and in history. The war against terrorism will only be successful if the struggle for peace and democracy succeeds. September 11th taught American women that the safety and security and well-being of Afghan women is the safety of us all. We will not, we must not, remain silent.

Please act now before it is too late.

Sincerely,

Jessica Neuwirth, President
Equality Now

Gloria Steinem, Founder
Ms. Magazine

Eve Ensler, Founder/Artistic Director
V-Day

Eleanor Smeal, President
The Feminist Majority

Sima Wali, President
Refugee Women in Development

Kim Gandy, President
National Organization for Women

Meryl Streep

Jane Fonda

Alanis Morissette

Marie C. Wilson, President
Ms. Foundation for Women

Robin Morgan, Founder
Sisterhood is Global Institute

Susan Sarandon

Kathy Rodgers, President
NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund

Adrienne Germain, President
International Women's Health Coalition

Masuda Sultan, Coordinator
Women for Afghan Women

Vivian Stromberg, Executive Director
MADRE

Martha Burk, Chairperson
National Council of Women's Organizations

Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder
Women's EDGE

Mary Diaz, Executive Director
Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children

EQUALITY NOW WORKS FOR THE CIVIL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS OF WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD.