Amanda Gorman and other cultural figures call on Biden to support Afghan women

Amanda Gorman and other cultural figures call on Biden to support Afghan women
‘We call on the administration to act immediately to protect and support Afghan women, and urge others to join us,’ reads letter endorsed by Amanda Gorman, Connie Britton and Diane von Furstenberg

Amanda Gorman and other high profile cultural figures have joined together to call on President Joe Biden to protect women and girls in Afghanistan.

The National Youth Poet Laureate, who recited a poem at the president’s inauguration, added her name to an open letter urging Mr Biden to act to ensure women and girls are safe in the country where the US spent 20 years involved in a military conflict.

Other names attached to the letter, shared by Axios, include actors Connie Britton and Charlize Theron, the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.

“We join a growing chorus of global leaders and advocates in raising up the voices of Afghan women’s rights activists who are under imminent threat, and urge the Biden administration to honour its commitment to gender equality by acting swiftly to support women who are trapped in a dire crisis,” they write.

On 15 August, the Afghan capital of Kabul fell to the Taliban, a militant and repressive group that poses grave threats to women and girls, including denying them access education and right to work outside of the home.

Mr Biden has been met with widespread criticism for the US government’s lack of planning as chaos ensued amidst their departure from the region.

The letter details how the Taliban has been doing “door to door” looking for women who held public-facing jobs. The letter details that the Taliban have “no reason to stop” and they therefore urge the president to do something to stop the human rights abuses.

They outlines four demands for the commander-in-chief: Provide safe passage for women and girls to leave the country through military personnel remaining on the ground; increase the amount of Special Immigrant Visas and create a special category for women fleeing the Taliban; and allocate funds for Afghan civilians on those visas to help resettle. Finally, they ask for support for grassroots women movements in Afghanistan.

“Twenty years ago, we were told that the US government’s invasion of Afghanistan was justified, in part, because of the threat the Taliban posed to women and girls,” the letter says.

The letter states that history will judge “whether or not we did the right thing”.

“We call on the administration to act immediately to protect and support Afghan women, and urge others to join us,” it concludes.

Ms Gorman also tweeted herself on 17 August imploring the US to welcome refugees.

“As Afghanistan suffers, America has to take a long look at how we’ve perpetuated horror & how we can provide healing. We must welcome refugees & at last become the country we say we are. Today is the day to take in the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” she wrote.

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