A senior Biden State Department official has deleted a tweet expressing concern for Afghan women who “stand to lose everything” — as reports emerge the Taliban is forcing women out of banking jobs amid the withdrawal of US troops.
Molly Montgomery, the deputy assistant secretary of state in the bureau of European and Eurasian affairs, deleted the tweet on Friday, according to Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
“Woke up with a heavy heart, thinking about all the Afghan women and girls I worked with during my time in Kabul,” Montgomery said in the deleted tweet.
“They were the beneficiaries of many of the gains we made, and now they stand to lose everything. We empowered them to lead, and now we are powerless to protect them.”
The Biden administration is facing mounting criticism over its tactics in Afghanistan as Taliban insurgents continue their lightning offensive to take over the country.
The State Department has not commented on whether Montgomery was told to delete the tweet.
Montgomery’s tweet was removed as reports emerge of Afghan women being forcibly removed from their banking jobs by insurgents — sparking concerns that the long fight for women’s rights in the country could be reversed if the Taliban takes control.
Under Taliban rule, women were not allowed to work and had to be accompanied by a male relative if they left home.