United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
March 18, 2023
CSW Afghanistan Joint Statement
The following is a joint statement delivered by Albania on behalf of Afghanistan, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the State of Palestine, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor Leste, Tunisia, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
In recognition of the ideals and principles and the Commission on the Status of Women, and recalling the commitments made during International Women’s Day on March 8th, we wish to express our strong concerns about the weakening of respect for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan who face extreme restrictions seen nowhere else in the world on the enjoyment of their rights, freedoms, and access to life-saving aid.
The Taliban continues to defy the will of the Afghan people, retracting their promises to the international community and implementing oppressive measures against women and girls.
We remain concerned that, despite international advocacy, the Taliban has not changed course after a full year of this repression – if anything, they’ve become more entrenched.
The Taliban’s decisions to ban women from universities, keep secondary schools closed to girls, and prevent Afghan women from working in NGOs, among other restrictions, are utterly indefensible. We note the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in its January 2023 meeting, “emphasized the position of Islamic [law] on the need for women’s education, work, and participation in public life.”
The ban on girls and women’s secondary and university education in Afghanistan deprives Afghan women and girls the enjoyment of the human right to education, increases risks of experiencing gender-based violence, including child, early, and forced marriage, and undermines Afghanistan’s stability, economic and social development, inclusive governance, and the realization and enjoyment of all human rights.
In addition, the order barring female employees of national and international NGOs from the workplace means that millions of Afghans will be unable to access life-saving humanitarian assistance and face even higher risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse. One-third of the humanitarian workforce in Afghanistan is female. They are now unable to work or reach women and other vulnerable people in need of basic support such as food, social services, and safe drinking water, with devastating consequences for their health and well-being.
These harmful edicts are causing irreparable damage to Afghanistan’s economy and society and the welfare of the people of Afghanistan.
We remain united in supporting the calls by the Afghan people for the full, equal, and meaningful participation of Afghan women, girls, and members of minority communities in Afghan society, and will continue to stand beside them.