ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
FEBRUARY 1, 2023
I am taking action today to impose additional visa restrictions on certain current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups, and other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan through restrictive policies and violence, including the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities and from working with NGOs. The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these visa restrictions, enacted under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (“3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Taliban’s most recent edicts ban women from universities and from working with NGOs, and further the Taliban’s previous measures that closed secondary schools to girls and limit the ability of women and girls to participate in the Afghan society and economy. Through these decisions, the Taliban have again shown their disregard for the welfare of the Afghan people.
So far, the Taliban’s actions have forced over one million school-aged Afghan girls and young women out of the classroom, 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. Women’s and girls’ quality, safe, and inclusive education and workforce participation is essential to growing and strengthening economies, reducing inequality, and fostering stability. Equal access to education and work is also an essential component to the vitality and resiliency of entire populations, including all adults and children, regardless of gender. The Taliban cannot expect the respect and support of the international community until they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls.
We continue to coordinate closely with allies and partners around the world on an approach that makes clear to the Taliban that their actions will carry significant costs and close the path to improved relations with the international community.
We condemn in the strongest of terms the Taliban’s actions. The United States stands with the Afghan people and remains committed to doing all we can to promote and advance respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls.