Standing with Afghanistan’s Women and Girls
Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
December 20, 2022
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the Taliban’s indefensible decision to ban women from universities, keep secondary schools closed to girls, and continue to impose other restrictions on the ability of women and girls in Afghanistan to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Education is a human right. It is also essential to Afghanistan’s economic growth and stability. The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all in Afghanistan. This decision will come with consequences for the Taliban.
No other country in the world bars women and girls from receiving an education. The Taliban’s repressive edicts have resulted in inexcusable restrictions on Afghan women and girls, including on their access to schools. Moreover, the Taliban’s latest announcement means that women and girls will continue to face enormous difficulties seeking employment to feed their families. Afghanistan is already losing more than $1 billion per year in contributions that women could be making to the economy. Now the Taliban have sentenced the Afghan people to these losses and more. No country can thrive when half of its population is held back.
We will continue to provide robust support to the Afghan people, including women and girls, seek to meet their humanitarian needs, and organize with allies and partners to collectively advocate for their rights.