The United States is imposing new visa restrictions against some members and former members of the Taliban, members of non-state security groups and others believed to be involved in the crackdown on the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday.
The announcement comes more than a month after the Taliban announced a ban on women attending universities and working with non-governmental organizations. Blinken cited those decisions as contributing to the new visa bans, saying the US condemns the actions in “the strongest terms.”
“The most recent Taliban edicts ban women from entering universities and working with NGOs, and expand on earlier Taliban measures that closed secondary schools to girls and limited the ability of women and girls to participate in Afghan society and economy,” Blinken said in a State Department statement..
“Through these decisions, the Taliban have once again shown their disregard for the well-being of the Afghan people,” he added.
The State Department statement did not name those affected by the measure.
Blinken pointed to other actions by the Taliban that have undermined the rights of women and girls since the group seized control of the country following the chaotic US military withdrawal in 2021.
“So far, the Taliban’s actions have forced more than a million Afghan girls and young women of school age out of classrooms, with more women out of universities and countless Afghan women out of the workforce. These numbers will only grow as time goes on, worsening the country’s already dire economic and humanitarian crises,” Blinken said.