Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
April 27, 2023
Good afternoon, colleagues. Today, the Security Council has sent a clear, unanimous message to the Taliban and to the world: We will not stand for the Taliban’s repression of women and girls.
The Taliban has chosen to ban women from universities; to keep secondary schools closed to girls; and to prevent Afghan women from working with NGOs, the UN, and in nearly every sector of the economy.
These decisions are indefensible. They are not seen anywhere else in the world.
Muslim-majority countries have spoken out against the Taliban’s rationale for these decisions. In January, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation emphasized that Islamic law calls for women’s education, work, and participation in public life.
And now the Security Council has condemned the Taliban.
The UN and its Member States will not remain on the sidelines when women and girls are deprived from exercising their human rights. The Taliban’s edicts are causing irreparable damage to Afghanistan – they erase women and girls from society. They also move the Taliban further from its desire to normalize relations with the international community.
The United States continues to urge an inclusive political process among Afghans that leads to a representative government – a government that is accountable to its people and fully reflects Afghanistan’s rich diversity, including the meaningful participation of women and members of minority communities.
In closing, the United States would like to acknowledge the extraordinary courage of women and girls in Afghanistan. Despite the Taliban’s mounting restrictions and intimidation, they continue to support their families and contribute to their communities.
We applaud the many Afghan communities and individuals who have strongly and bravely stood up in support of Afghan women and girls.