Afghan Women Security and Freedom Act of 2004
To provide assistance and security for women and children in Afghanistan, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 27, 2004
Mrs. BOXER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations
To provide assistance and security for women and children in Afghanistan, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Afghan Women Security and Freedom Act of 2004'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Taliban regime denied women in Afghanistan the most basic human rights, including the rights to work, to an education, to health care, and to move freely.
(2) The Taliban regime subjected any women who attempted to exercise her human rights to beatings and imprisonment and women in Afghanistan who lived under the Taliban regime suffer from long-term consequences of such oppression.
(3) According to the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, as a result of 23 years of war and the restrictions imposed by the Taliban after the war ended, most women in Afghanistan do not have adequate food, access to health care, or opportunities for education, employment, or economic livelihood, and such women have experienced violence to themselves or their families.
(4) Women in Afghanistan have one of the highest mortality rates in the world, with an estimated 16,000 maternal deaths annually.
(5) The strengthening of institutions and non-governmental organizations that are led by women in Afghanistan is essential to building civil society and holding the Government of Afghanistan accountable for protecting women's rights and human rights.
(6) It is necessary for significant numbers of women to hold positions within the Government of Afghanistan, including in the cabinet, the Loya Jirga, government commissions, and other key posts, and to hold official positions within United Nations agencies working in Afghanistan to foster democracy and protect the rights of women in Afghanistan.
(7) Despite the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001, warlords and the Taliban are reorganizing and reemerging in Afghanistan, imperiling the stability of the central government, the security of the people, and the exercise of human rights by women.
(8) The United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative to Afghanistan said that the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan may force a delay in elections in Afghanistan and that expansion of international peacekeeping forces is necessary to make fair, democratic voter registration and elections possible.
(9) In January 2004, the Government of Afghanistan adopted a new constitution that includes basic rights for women, but enforcement of the provisions of the constitution will be difficult unless security in Afghanistan is dramatically improved.
(10) Despite the fact that violations of human rights and women's rights continue with impunity in Afghanistan, Provincial Reconstruction Teams composed of United States military forces, Department of Defense civil affairs officers, representatives of United States agencies and allied personnel do not have the authority needed to intervene to stop such violations.
SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.
It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the protection of the rights of women, the reestablishment of democracy, and the elimination of terrorism are essential to the reconstruction of a stable Afghanistan and to achieve such a reconstruction the international community should commit substantial resources, including the expansion of international peacekeeping forces inside and outside of the city of Kabul;
(2) the United States should provide strong support for the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, both of which were created by the Bonn Agreement to remedy past violations of women's rights and human rights and to establish institutions and programs to advance such rights;
(3) the mandate of international peacekeeping forces and Provincial Reconstruction Teams composed of United States military forces, Department of Defense civil affairs officers, representatives of United States agencies and allied personnel should be authorized to intervene to stop violations of human rights and women's rights;
(4) United States foreign policy should ensure that the rights of women and girls are restored in Afghanistan, assist in the recovery of women and girls from the repression of the Taliban and 23 years of war, and strengthen Afghan institutions that are led by women; and
(5) grants and assistance provided to Afghanistan should be conditioned upon the Government of Afghanistan adhering to international standards for women's rights and human rights.
SEC. 4. AUTHORIZATION FOR ASSISTANCE.
(a) AUTHORITY- The President is authorized to provide assistance for women and children in Afghanistan.
(b) PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE- Assistance under this section may be provided directly to the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, other Afghan Government ministries, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, local and international nonprofit organizations, and United Nations agencies.
(c) CATEGORIES OF ASSISTANCE- The assistance under this section may be provide as grants, technical assistance, training, or in any other form that the President determines is appropriate.
(d) PURPOSES- Assistance under this section may be used for the following purposes:
(1) POLITICAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS- Assistance under this section is authorized to be used to promote women's rights and human rights in Afghanistan, including women's political participation and legal rights, including for the following purposes:
(A) To provide assistance to the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, other ministries of the Government of Afghanistan, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission for programs to advance the status of women.
(B) To disseminate information throughout Afghanistan on the rights of women and on international standards for human rights.
(C) To provide information and assistance to enable women to exercise property, inheritance, and voting rights, and to participate in relief programs.
(D) To provide, monitor, and investigate violations of women's rights and to provide legal assistance to women who have suffered violations of their rights.
(E) To provide training related to women's rights and human rights to military, police, and legal personnel.
(F) To build the infrastructure of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission through the construction of provincial and district offices.
(G) To enforce the provisions of the Afghan constitution that ensure equal rights for women.
(H) To operate programs to encourage and facilitate the registration of women voters.
(2) HEALTH CARE- Assistance under this section is authorized to be used to provide health care for the people of Afghanistan, including for the following purposes:
(A) To provide equipment, medical supplies, and other assistance to health care facilities for the purpose of reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.
(B) To train nurses, midwives, and traditional birth attendants for the purposes of improving staffing at clinics and hospitals, and expanding networks of community health educators.
(C) To promote awareness about the health and nutrition of women, and programs related to hygiene, sanitation, and immunization.
(D) To develop, establish, and expand programs to provide services to women and girls suffering from post-traumatic stress, depression, and mental illness.
(E) To provide mobile health units that include reproductive health programs and that are accessible to women and girls who have been disabled due to landmines or war-related injuries, including such women and girls who are in wheelchairs.
(3) EDUCATION AND TRAINING- Assistance under this section is authorized to be used to provide education and training to the people of Afghanistan, including for the following purposes:
(A) To establish, maintain, and expand primary and secondary schools for girls that include mathematics, science, and languages in their primary curriculum.
(B) To develop and expand technical and vocational training programs for women to enable women who participate in such programs to provide support for themselves and their families.
(C) To develop, maintain, and expand literacy programs, including economic literacy programs that promote the well-being of women and their families.
(D) To provide special educational opportunities for girls whose schooling was ended by the Taliban and who now face obstacles to participating in the normal education system, such as girls who are now married and girls who are older than the normal age for their classes.
(4) SECURITY, PROTECTION, AND SHELTER- Assistance under this section is authorized to be used to provide security, protection, and shelter for the people of Afghanistan, including for the following purposes:
(A) To develop and implement programs to protect women and girls against sexual and physical abuse, abduction, trafficking, exploitation, and sex discrimination in the delivery of humanitarian supplies and services.
(B) To direct humanitarian assistance to the large population of widows and their children who are in need in war-torn Afghanistan.
(C) To provide emergency shelters, food, sanitation, health care, and other relief services to internally displaced women and their families.
(D) To support the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, the majority of whom are women and children, to their home areas.
(E) To provide security measures, such as building improvements and staffing, for the purpose of preventing violent attacks to schools that educate girls and to repair or replace equipment and facilities of a school that is subject to such an attack.
(F) To improve security for women in the Loya Jirga and for women who exercise their right to register to vote and to participate in elections.
(G) To provide security for women's centers for the purpose of enabling women to participate in meetings, discussions, and programs regarding the constitution, elections, and women's rights.
SEC. 5. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON THE PROVISIONS OF ASSISTANCE.
It is the sense of Congress that, in providing assistance under this Act, the President should--
(1) condition the provision such assistance on the recipient adhering to international standards for women's rights and human rights;
(2) place a high priority on the provision of such assistance to the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, and other agencies of the Government of Afghanistan that are able to implement programs to improve the lives and advance the rights of women;
(3) place a high priority on the provision of such assistance that will be used to provide to training and capacity-building programs in Afghanistan;
(4) ensure that such assistance is distributed throughout different regions of Afghanistan on the basis of need;
(5) place a high priority on the provision of such assistance to non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan that have demonstrated experience in delivering services to Afghan women and children and that are--
(A) led by women; or
(B) located in Afghanistan; and
(6) ensure that of the assistance made available under this Act in each fiscal year not less than 25 percent of such assistance is provided to non-governmental organizations that are--
(A) led by women; and
(B) located in Afghanistan.
SEC. 6. REPORTING REQUIREMENT.
(a) REQUIREMENT FOR REPORT- Not less than once every 6 months, the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees on the activities carried out under this Act. Such report shall include the amount of assistance provided under this Act to--
(1) the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs;
(2) other ministries of the Government of Afghanistan;
(3) the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission;
(4) Afghan nonprofit organizations;
(5) international nonprofit organizations; and
(6) United Nations agencies.
(b) INITIAL REPORT- The initial report required under subsection (a) shall be submitted not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
(c) TERMINATION OF REQUIREMENT- Subsection (a) shall be effective during the 3 year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act.
(d) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- In this section the term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) AUTHORIZATION- There is authorized to be appropriated to the President $300,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2005, 2006, and 2007 to carry out the provisions of this Act, of which--
(1) $20,000,000 is authorized to be available to the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs for each such fiscal year; and
(2) $10,000,000 is authorized to be available to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission for each such fiscal year.
(b) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph
(1) are authorized to remain available until expended.