The White House has signed a joint statement calling on Afghan officials to ‘guarantee’ the safety and freedoms of Afghan women and girls amid concerns over harsh treatment under the Taliban.
The statement comes after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said his ‘heart goes out to Afghan women and girls, and warned of the Taliban: ‘We’ve seen what they’ve done before.’
The Taliban has made assurances that women will have a role in the new government, but there are concerns that stonings, ‘honor killings,’ and general repression of a public role for women may resume.
‘We are deeply worried about Afghan women and girls, their rights to education, work, and freedom of movement. We call on those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee their protection,’ according to the joint statement, released by the U.S. State Department and the White House.
‘Afghan women and girls, as all Afghan people, deserve to live in safety, security, and dignity. Any form of discrimination and abuse should be prevented. We in the international community stand ready to assist them with humanitarian aid and support, to ensure that their voices can be heard,’ it continues.
The nations vow that ‘We will monitor closely how any future government ensures rights and freedoms that have become an integral part of the life of women and girls in Afghanistan during the last twenty years.’
Signing on to the statement were a range of countries including Albania, Argentina, Guatemala, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union.
A Taliban spokesman said at a press conference Tuesday that: ‘Women will be afforded all their rights, whether it is in work or other activities, because women are a key part of society’
‘We are guaranteeing all their rights within the limits of Islam,’ said the spokesman, ABC News reported – a statement that includes a possible reference to Sharia law.
Another Taliban spokesman promised that women would be allowed to maintain a role in society – then added: ‘If they continue to live according to Sharia, we will be happy, they will be happy.’