Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

March 7, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Rona Ambrose, Minister for Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today issued the following statement:

“March 8 is International Women’s Day. This day celebrates the achievements of women around the world, and focuses on what must be done to achieve greater equality.

“The recent Ulema Council’s statement represents a dramatic step backwards for Afghan women. We expect the Government of Afghanistan to uphold its constitution and to distance itself from these outrageous remarks.

“The protection and advancement of women’s rights has been, and continues to be, a key pillar of Canada’s foreign policy. This is especially true in Afghanistan, where promoting and protecting human rights, including women’s rights, is a central theme of Canada’s post-2011 engagement.

“Respect for the freedoms and rights of all Afghan citizens is fundamental to Afghanistan’s security, and future prosperity.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI

Michelle Bakos
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister for Status of Women