Statement by the G7 Foreign Ministers on the Situation of Women and Girls in Afghanistan (22.05.12)

We, the Foreign Ministers of Germany, Canada, the United States of America, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the High Representative of the European Union express our strong opposition and deplore the increasing restrictions imposed by the Taliban on the rights and freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan.

We support the Afghan people in their demand for equal rights, consistent with the Taliban’s obligations to all Afghans and Afghanistan’s obligations under international law. We condemn the imposition of increasingly restrictive measures that severely limit the ability of half the population to participate fully, equitably and meaningfully in society, including the recent announcement of women’s public appearances as well as new penalties for family members to enforce compliance with these restrictions.

With these actions, the Taliban are further isolating themselves from the international community. Echoing our joint statement with Norway on March 24, we call on the Taliban to take urgent action to lift restrictions on women and girls, respect their human rights, and meet the expectations of Afghans and the world. To enable them to have full, equal and meaningful participation in work, education and public life, as well as their freedom of movement and expression, which is essential for the long-term peace, stability and development of the country.

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