President Biden delivered a statement on International Women’s Day, using the remarks as a chance to call out a number of countries for repressing women’s rights. 

In a statement, Biden said that while Wednesday marks a celebration of the accomplishments and contributions of women and girls around the world, there are still instances of women’s rights in dire conditions in several countries, saying that these ongoing situations are holding back growth in “entire communities.”

Biden called out the repression of women’s rights in Afghanistan and Iran, as well as the violence women are facing amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Despite decades of progress, in far too many places around the world, the rights of women and girls are still under attack, holding back entire communities,” Biden said in his statement. “We see it in Afghanistan, where the Taliban bars women and girls from attending school and pursuing employment.”

“We see it in Iran, where the regime is brutally repressing the voices of women who are courageously standing up for their freedom,” Biden added. “And in the face of Russia’s vicious and unjust invasion of Ukraine, including the use of rape as a weapon of war, we see countless stories of women bravely fighting for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Ukrainians.”

Biden also said in his statement that the U.S. will continue to stand with women and girls all around the world in an effort to advance and protect human rights, noting that his administration will continue to collaborate with “dedicated partners and local communities in every part of the world to expand economic security for women and girls” such as defending healthcare access, safeguarding women’s political participation and human rights, and promoting the full participation of women and girls in all facets of society.

Biden’s comments come as the United Nations (U.N.) on Wednesday declared that Afghanistan is the most repressive country for women in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover in 2021. The regime has stripped away a number of rights from women and girls that include prohibiting them from attending schools and universities and banning them from working. 

“As we continue working to implement our first-ever National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, we are focused on lifting up the rights of women and girls through every aspect of both our foreign and domestic policy,” Biden concluded in his statement.

“This is a defining feature of who we are as a nation and the values we hold dear as Americans. So let us continue to strive toward a future where women have an equal seat at the table, an equal voice in shaping decisions, and an equal opportunity to contribute fully to their nations.”