Tuesday, May 21, 2024

UN says Taliban prohibit women from working for United Nations in Afghanistan

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres has stated that the Taliban are banning Afghan women from working for the United Nations in the country, the latest curtailment of women’s rights since the group took over Afghanistan in 2021.

Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement on Wednesday that Guterres “strongly condemns” the Taliban’s decision, which violates “inalienable fundamental human rights” and Afghanistan’s obligations under international law.

Dujarric added the move also infringes on the principle of non-discrimination, a “core tenet” of the UN Charter.

“Female staff members are essential for the United Nations operations, including in the delivery of life-saving assistance,” he continued, noting, “The enforcement of this decision will harm the Afghan people, millions of whom are in need of this assistance.”

Dujarric said Guterres is calling on the Taliban to reverse their decision and all of the measures they have taken to restrict women and girls’ rights to work, education and movement.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan tweeted that it would like to remind “de facto authorities” that its entities cannot operate in the country and provide “life-saving assistance” without female staff members.

The Taliban have majorly rolled back women’s rights since they took over the country from the previous Afghan government as the US withdrew its troops.

The government has since banned girls and women from attending secondary and higher education, prohibited women from working for international nongovernmental organizations and ordered women to essentially be completely covered in public.

The UN announced last month that Afghanistan had become the most repressive country for women in the world.

CBS News reported that 28.3 million people are in need of aid to survive amid a humanitarian crisis that has hit the nation in the wake of the previous government’s collapse. Much of the international aid going to Afghanistan stopped almost overnight as the Taliban took over in August 2021.

Women have been critical in getting aid to households led by women because of the Taliban’s gender segregation rules, CBS reported.

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