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Artists Meryl Streep, Sting, Joan Baez, Cynthia Nixon, Yoko Ono and Patrick Stewart signed an Amnesty International Letter to Presidents Obama and Karzai on Afghan Women’s Rights. The open letter was released Sunday to President Obama and President Karzai, calling on them to give women a voice in the conversation about Afghanistan’s future. The letter was released by Amnesty International as it staged a “Shadow Summit for Afghan Women” hours before the NATO Summit got underway in Chicago. Signatories included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, feminist Gloria Steinem, Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams and Shirin Ebadi, along with a roster of leading Afghan women’s rights advocates.
“The women of Afghanistan have come too far to see their rights vanish,” said Frank Januzzi, head of Amnesty International USA’s Washington office. “They must be part of the conversation about the future of Afghanistan or that future will look very bleak indeed. No one wants a return to the days when the Taliban banned women and girls from schools and work, and held them as virtual prisoners in their own country. This would be the ultimate catastrophe after a decade of gains for women. We hope the voices of these notable signatories will add to the pressure on Presidents Obama and Karzai to follow through on the promise of human rights for all women in Afghanistan.” Amnesty International urged Presidents Obama and Karzai to adopt eight key steps to make sure Afghan woman can continue the progress they have made on rights and freedoms after the troops leave in 2014. Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up