Responding to the current situation in Afghanistan, Mina’s List Founder & Executive Director, Tanya Henderson released the following statement:
"We are outraged and deeply saddened by the attack at the Kabul airport today, which targeted vulnerable civilians as they sought refuge. We are also devastated that this attack will likely make it even more difficult for high-risk women to leave the country. This attack leaves the world in no doubt as to the chaos that Afghans will face when the US and its allies leave the country. We send our heartfelt condolences to all those who lost friends and family. As we mourn for those who lost their lives, including both Afghan civilians and American soldiers, we must redouble our efforts to help others get to safety.
“As we approach the August 31 deadline, we call on the White House to reconsider and extend the evacuation timeline. Time is running out to save the most vulnerable women in Afghanistan. It is Afghan women leaders, many of whom worked with international allies to secure their country’s future, who are now most at risk by the Taliban takeover. They are at the top of the Taliban’s kill lists. They are targets for kidnapping, torture, and assassination by Taliban forces.
“Over and over, women have been left to last, told to wait and stay quiet. They were excluded from the negotiations with the Taliban in 2020. They were sidelined at the Istanbul talks in April 2021. And now, despite welcome commitments to secure their flight to safety, they are being pushed down to the bottom of the evacuation lists. The area around the airport is becoming less safe by the day and too many women are still struggling to make it through the gates. We must address this inequity by ensuring these women are brought to safety.
We call on this Administration to:
· Urgently prioritize direct evacuation flights for high-risk women
· Extend the deadline so that women in danger from Taliban reprisals can get to safety
· Set up a humanitarian parole program specifically for Afghan women leaders and other high-risk women
“The US will be judged for decades to come by its actions this week. The government has committed to protecting women’s rights as a central part of its national security and defense policy. We must live up to this commitment.”