In a joint press release, the European Union and 20 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, expressed their “deep concern” about the plight of girls and women in Afghanistan. “We are calling on rulers across Afghanistan to ensure their protection,” it seemed.
Concern around the world is very high as the extremist Islamist Taliban movement has regained power in Afghanistan after more than 20 years. The ultra-conservative group does not have a good reputation for women’s rights: under their rule in the 1990s, for example, girls in Afghanistan were unable to go to school and women could not work outside the home. The fact that Taliban leaders promised during a press conference yesterday/Tuesday that they would respect women’s rights “within the framework of Sharia” (Islamic law, ed.) does not reassure the international community.
“We are deeply concerned about Afghan women and girls and their right to education, work and freedom of movement. We call on those in positions of power in Afghanistan to ensure their protection,” nearly 20 countries said in a joint press release on Wednesday. In addition to the European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom, this includes Albania, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Norway, and Paraguay. Senegal and Switzerland.
The countries involved say they will continue to monitor closely how the future government of Afghanistan will protect rights and freedoms “which have been a part of women’s and girls’ lives for 20 years”.