During the past week, we have witnessed a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan before our eyes. We have long known that women and children are often the first to experience violence, including sexual violence, during times of war and insecurity, and the crisis in Afghanistan is no different. While these events may seem far away, there is a connection to Wisconsin as it was reported yesterday that Afghan refugees have begun arriving here in recent days. We are sharing this article which contains ways people can support the refugees and the organizations in Wisconsin who are working to resettle them. Now is also a good time to contact your Representative and Senators Baldwin and Johnson to tell them saving Afghan lives must be a priority.
We would also like to lift up the statement from the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence (API-GBV) and echo their call for the Biden Administration to take specific action steps to address the crisis in Afghanistan. Finally, the Afghan-led organizations mentioned in the API-GBV statement have a breadth of information as to how people can support their work during this time of crisis, and we urge you to follow their lead and to lend financial support if possible.
Many of the people trying to flee Afghanistan include those who have advocated for the rights of women and girls, and who now fear violence due to their advocacy for those rights. The United States must not turn its back on the Afghan people during this time of crisis, but instead do everything it can to help those fleeing due to fear of violence and retribution.