Blinken vows continued US pressure on Taliban to reverse ‘repressive policies’

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged at a NATO anniversary ceremony on Tuesday that the United States will continue to rally global pressure on the Taliban to reverse their repressive policies against women and girls in Afghanistan.

“We also continue to rally global pressure on the Taliban to reverse these repressive policies which are hurting all Afghans,” Blinken said.

Blinken highlighted efforts to train and empower women’s civil society groups and peace builders, emphasizing their critical role in building peace and free, open societies. “We’re training and empowering women civil society groups and peace builders so that they can play a leading role in building peace and in building free and open societies and negotiating the end of conflicts, even and maybe especially in places where those in power ruthlessly repress the rights of women and girls like Afghanistan,” he stated.

He also addressed the ongoing fight of Afghan women and girls for their rights under the Taliban regime. “As long as the Taliban denies the right to go to school, to go to work, to move freely and participate in public life, women and girls will continue to fight for their right to build a brighter future for themselves and for their country.”

Blinken reiterated U.S. support for Afghan women and girls, saying, “As they do, we’re working every day to support their efforts, working with governments, NGOs, the private sector, and academia to help Afghan women and girls keep studying, to build their skills, to build their connections, to work remotely.”

The Taliban has imposed severe restrictions on women, banning them from working in NGOs, attending secondary schools, and universities.