‘INCLUDE AFGHAN GOV, WOMEN IN US-TALIBAN PEACE TALKS’:

Following a meeting with Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Rep. Maloney expressed concerns to Sec. Pompeo that Afghan women’s rights are at risk.

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) sent a letter on May 20 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that he document how the United States is working to make sure that Afghan women are included in the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Taliban. The Congress member met earlier this month with Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, to discuss concerns that Afghan women and the Afghan government were being excluded from these discussions.

In her letter, Congresswoman Maloney states, “Excluding these groups undermines the validity and sustainability of any peace agreement. The omission of women also violates the Women Peace and Security Act signed into law by President Trump in 2017, which requires the meaningful participation of women in mediation and negotiation in resolving conflict. The discussions would benefit from having all points of view represented. Any agreement reached with the support of all stakeholders is more likely to succeed.”

She also goes on to explain what is at risk should Afghan women not have a seat at the table: “In the last 18 years, with the support of the United States and our international partners, Afghanistan has empowered women and girls throughout the country. With our support, girls have returned to schools and now constitute 39% of K-12 students, 25% of college students and nearly 50% of those earning teaching certificates. Afghan women have returned to work as doctors, lawyers, businesswomen, nurses, teachers and civil servants. They do not want to go back. Women’s rights and human rights must be non-negotiable.”

In her letter Maloney stated, “By holding talks without representatives of (the) Afghan government, the United States is delegitimizing the current system and the elected officials of the country. Excluding the government elevates the Taliban, the very people who gave refuge to Osama bin Laden who murdered nearly 3,000 Americans, including roughly 500 residents of my district. If the talks continue with only Taliban representatives, we will be emboldening a group that has caused tremendous suffering for the United States and the Afghan people.

“Recognizing the thousands of American lives lost in Afghanistan and the billions of dollars we have invested in the Afghan people, we should make every effort to make sure that any peace agreement reached honors human rights and the guarantees for women’s equality laid out in the Afghan Constitution.”

 

MALONEY HELPS PASS CONSUMERS FIRST ACT:

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and former member of the Dodd-Frank Conference Committee, spoke on May 22 on the House floor in favor of, and then voted with her colleagues to pass, H.R.1500, the Consumers First Act. The legislation will restore and protect the supervisory and enforcement powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created in the wake of the Great Recession by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and return the nonpartisan agency to its essential role of protecting consumers in the financial marketplace.

“The CFPB was created because rampant consumer abuses caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And under Director Cordray’s historic tenure, the bureau resolved more than 1.3 million consumer complaints and secured over $12 billion for nearly 30 million consumers who were wronged by financial institutions. The bureau did exactly what we had created it to do – and then the Trump administration stepped in.

“Putting Mick Mulvaney in charge of the CFPB was the epitome of a fox guarding the henhouse – so it’s critically important that we immediately undo all of the damage Mr. Mulvaney did while he was Acting Director of the CFPB – and that includes making the Consumers First Act law. I was proud to vote ‘yes’ on this critically important bill to put consumers first.

“The US Senate needs to take this bill up immediately and send it to the president’s desk.”