The United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman has called on the Taliban to change its course and reverse the bans on women’s work and education.
Sherman released a video message on the occasion of Nowuz on Tuesday, saying that it was the last year was a deeply challenging year for the Afghan people.
“Over the past year, the Taliban have made a series of indefensible decisions regarding women and girls. So far, the Taliban’s actions have forced more than one million Afghan girls and young women out of the classroom and countless Afghan women out of the workforce,” she said.
The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, also joined Sherman in her call on the Taliban to reverse its women’s bans. “…our biggest hope is for Afghanistan’s girls and women to return to school and work. Their participation in society will give the country a brighter future,” West said in a tweet today.
Like its previous rule from 1996-2001, the Taliban once again has confined all women and girls to their homes and effectively banned them from education and work across Afghanistan.
On Sunday, the US special envoy for Afghan women, Rina Amiri, also said that a stable Afghanistan hinged on reversing the Taliban’s extreme policies like banning secondary education for girls.
According Sherman, these decisions have been very costly for Afghanistan as the country’s has been losing “more than one billion dollar per year” that the women could contribute to the country’s economy.
Moreover, she reiterated, the Taliban’s edicts banning female aid workers was jeopardizing humanitarian efforts for reaching out to more than 28 million people who needed the humanitarian aid to survive.
“We again call on the Taliban to change course to allow women and girls to exercise their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, to deliver on their commitments to the Afghan people and to the international community, to allow women to return to school and work where they can learn, grow, and contribute to Afghanistan’s economic recovery,” the US official said, saluting to women who so far protested against the Taliban bans.