EU and 23 countries fear Taliban will impose more restrictions on women

In a joint-statement, foreign ministers of 23 countries and high representative of the European Union (EU) has expressed fear that the Taliban will impose more restrictions on Afghan women and girls. Meanwhile, they urged the group once again to reverse all its bans on women’s and girls.

“This support for the Afghan people is particularly relevant, as we fear that the Taliban will implement further measures restricting women and girls’ exercise of civil, political, economic, cultural, and social rights, with a dire impact on the future of Afghanistan and its people,” part of the statement reads.

The statement was issued on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8th of March, by foreign ministers of Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States and the High Representative of the European Union.

On Wednesday, women held indoor and outdoor protest rallies in Kabul, Takhar, Ghor, and Kandahar provinces against the Taliban’s continued restrictive policies for women.

At the same day, the top diplomats collectively called for attention to the situation in Afghanistan and said the country “has seen one of the steepest declines globally in the respect for the human rights of women and girls” over the past year and a half.

They further expressed deep concern over the largest humanitarian crisis “with millions on the threshold of starvation” adding that Taliban’s ban on female aid workers was jeopardizing the humanitarian aid delivery to 28 million Afghans dependent on aid.

Returned to power in August 2021, the Taliban has again effectively confined Afghan women at home by them from their rights to education, work, and traveling alone.