G7 condemns Taliban for increasing restrictions on women
The Group of Seven industrialized nations on Thursday condemned the Taliban’s growing restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan, accusing the radical group of isolating the country.
“We call on the Taliban to take urgent action to lift restrictions on women and girls,” said the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan , Britain and the United States in a statement.
“We condemn the imposition of increasingly restrictive measures that severely limit the ability of half the population to participate fully, equally and meaningfully in society,” they said, according to AFP.
By restricting the rights of women and girls, the Taliban is “further isolating itself from the international community”, the ministers said.
When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan last year, they promised a looser rule than during their first term in power from 1996 to 2001, which was marred by human rights abuses.
But they have increasingly restricted the rights of Afghans, especially girls and women, who have been barred from returning to secondary schools and many government jobs.
Women across the country have been banned from traveling alone and last week authorities ordered them to cover up completely in public, ideally with a burqa.
Later Thursday in New York, envoys to the United Nations also condemned the growing restrictions on women in Afghanistan.
“Taliban policy continues to focus on the oppression of women and girls rather than the economic crisis,” Norway’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Trine Heimerback, said.
“This is absolutely deplorable. It is now perfectly clear that the Taliban have no intention of honoring their commitments to the international community,” added Irish Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason.
Britain’s UN ambassador Barbara Woodward has said the Taliban’s wish to exclude women from public life is “repressive” and “wrong”.
The UN Security Council held a closed meeting that could be followed in the coming days by a unanimous statement condemning the restrictions on Afghan women.
G7 foreign ministers gathered on Thursday for a three-day meeting in Germany, which holds the group’s chairmanship.
The ministers plan to discuss the war in Ukraine but also other pressing global issues.