Female foreign ministers at MSC condemn the Taliban’s oppression of women and girls

Female foreign ministers attending the Munich Security Conference have in a joint statement on Saturday condemned the Taliban’s oppression of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The foreign ministers of France, Belgium, Albania, Canada, Iceland, Mongolia, Kosovo, Germany, Slovenia, Andorra and Liechtenstein said:

“We strongly condemn the Taliban’s push to exclude women from all public life: women are kept from strolling in parks, are not seen on TV screens anymore, are deprived from their right to attend schools and universities, and are now also kept from working in humanitarian assistance.”

“By excluding half of Afghanistan’s population from society, the Taliban are committing gravest violations of human rights. And the Taliban are jeopardizing the future of the whole country.

“We are united in our call to lift these restrictions on women, particularly when it comes to their essential role in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. This will restore the basis to deliver the help that the women, children and men of Afghanistan so urgently need.

“We stand by the side of the brave women and men of Iran in their daily fight for their rights and their freedom. Their struggle shows that only where women are safe everybody is safe. Not only in Iran, not only in Afghanistan, but all over the world.”

The Munich Security Conference (MSC) is an annual global forum where leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society come together to discuss and address critical international security challenges.

Speaking at the conference, the Pakistani foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, said that “The most important issue is, and should be, the potential security and terrorism threat emanating from Afghanistan.”

An Afghan activist, Mahbouba Seraj told the conference that “We are dying here. I do not care what this world is saying. How you are coming about it, any kind of a thing for Afghanistan you have, use it right now and make it possible for us to get out of this situation.”

And the Belgian foreign minister, Hadja Lahbib, warned that the Taliban is creating ” a generation without hope or future. It is creating all the conditions that led to 9/11.”