LONDON - The deadly attacks in Paris by Islamic State militants demonstrate the need for world efforts to crack down on extremist groups that try to repress women and girls, a leading US women's rights official said on Tuesday.
Cathy Russell, the US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, said last Friday's suicide bombings and shootings in Paris that killed 129 people reinforced the need to escalate efforts to combat Islamic State.
Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL, has claimed responsibility for Friday's coordinated attacks, saying they were in retaliation for France's involvement in US-backed air strikes in Iraq and Syria.
"Women and girls have been a particular target for ISIL, just as they are for other groups ... that view progress of women as a threat," Russell told the Trust Women conference on women's rights and trafficking run by Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"That mindset and that evil cannot go unchecked by the international community. We have to redouble our efforts .... It is time to reaffirm out commitment to equality and to women and girls everywhere," she added.