Speed Reads

the fight for afghan women and girls

Deputy Secretary of State says U.S. will 'be vigilant in monitoring' Taliban treatment of women and girls

During an impassioned and emotional speech on Wednesday, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Ruth Sherman vowed that the U.S. would remain "vigilant" as to the Taliban's treatment of Afghan women and children going forward.

"The United States and the international community will be vigilant in monitoring how any future government in Afghanistan ensures the rights and freedoms that women and girls in that country have come to expect," Sherman asserted. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Taliban claimed the group would honor women's rights, but only within the "framework" of Islamic law — an statement that drew skepticism from many.

Societies cannot "flourish and prosper without women and girls," Sherman continued, and in the last 20 years, "Afghan women and girls have embraced their freedom" and built the lives they were encouraged to imagine.

"The United States and our allies and partners will continue to fight for Afghan women and girls, and Secretary Blinken and the President of the United States join me in that drive," she added. She said the U.S. will use "every economic, diplomatic, and political tool we have to hold the Taliban [accountable] to their words and more."

Sherman's stirring preamble, however, garnered skepticism from some conservative critics, who saw the statement as tepid, unactionable, and too little, too late.