• The Group of Seven industrialized nations has condemned the growing restrictions placed on women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • In a statement, the foreign ministers called on the Taliban to urgently take steps to lift restrictions on women and girls.
  • The G7 foreign ministers gathered on Thursday for a three-day meeting in Germany, which holds the presidency of the group.

The Group of Seven industrialized nations on Thursday condemned the growing restrictions placed on women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan, accusing the hardline Islamist group of isolating the country.

“We call on the Taliban to urgently take steps to lift restrictions on women and girls,” the foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States said in a statement.

“We condemn the imposition of increasingly restrictive measures that severely limit half the population’s ability to fully, equally and meaningfully participate in society,” they said.

By restricting the rights of women and girls, the Taliban are “further isolating themselves from the international community”, the ministers said.

When the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last year, they promised a softer rule than during their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, which was marked by human rights abuses.

But they have increasingly restricted the rights of Afghans, particularly girls and women, who have been prevented from returning to secondary schools and many government jobs.

Women across the country have been banned from traveling alone, and last week the authorities ordered them to cover up completely in public, ideally with a burqa.

In New York later on Thursday, envoys to the United Nations also condemned the growing curbs on women in Afghanistan.

Norway’s deputy ambassador to the UN Trine Heimerback said:

Taliban policies continue to focus on pressing women and girls rather than addressing the economic crisis.

“It’s utterly deplorable. It’s now abundantly clear that the Taliban have no intention of upholding their commitments to the international community,” added Ireland’s ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason.

The G7 foreign ministers gathered on Thursday for a three-day meeting in Germany, which holds the presidency of the group.

The ministers plan to discuss the war in Ukraine but also other pressing global issues.


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