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Blinken Highlights Perseverance of Women in Iran and Afghanistan in Fighting for Rights

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised women in Afghanistan and Iran for standing up for freedoms as he spoke Tuesday at an event highlighting the role of women in democracy.

Blinken praised women who have protested in Iran in response to the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini last year, saying they have courageously demonstrated “under great threat to themselves, to call for ‘woman, life, and freedom.’”

And in Afghanistan, Blinken said women are fighting for a better future in their country despite efforts by the Taliban “to erase them from daily life.”

“The United States stands in solidarity with these women and all who are working for women’s full, free, and equal participation around the world. Through our diplomacy, we’re committed to supporting them and advancing gender equality worldwide,” Blinken said.

The top U.S. diplomat said women face these challenges not only in autocracies, but also in far too many places where they lack equal opportunities to study and work.

“Women journalists, advocates, politicians, and others are subject to persistent online harassment and abuse. Women who are victims of violence often do not have equal access to justice. Women are subject to discrimination that often puts them at a disadvantage – whether through double standards they face in the workplace, in access to reproductive rights, or in nationality laws, which can result in barriers to accessing education, health care, and property for themselves and for their families,” Blinken said.