Munich Security Conference: Female foreign ministers seek removal of bans on Afghan women

A group of female foreign ministers attending the Munich Security Conference 2023 in a statement on Saturday stressed the need for the removal of Taliban restrictions on women.

The statement came from the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Olta Xhaçka; Andorra, Maria Ubach Font; Belgium, Hadja Lahbib; Canada, Mélanie Joly; France, Catherine Colonna; Germany, Annalena Baerbock; Iceland, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir; Kosovo, Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz; Liechtenstein, Dominique Hasler; Mongolia, Batmunkh Battsetseg; and Slovenia, Tanja Fajon.

According to the statement released in Munich on Saturday, 18 February: “Together, we, female Foreign Ministers at the Munich Security Conference 2023, strongly condemn the Talibans’ push to exclude women from all public life: women are kept from strolling in parks, are not seen on TV screens anymore, are deprived of their right to attend schools and universities, and are now also kept from working in humanitarian assistance. By excluding half of Afghanistan’s population from society, the Taliban are committing gravest violations of human rights.”

They said that “the Taliban are jeopardizing the future of the whole country.”

“We are united in our call to lift these restrictions on women, particularly when it comes to their essential role in the delivery of humanitarian assistance” it added.

This will restore the basis to deliver the help that the women, children and men of Afghanistan so urgently need, the statement added.

The 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC) runs for three days, February 17 to 19 and functions as a unique platform for high-level debates on foreign and security policy challenges.