UN Security Council urges Taliban to reverse restrictions on women


The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned tightening restrictions on women’s rights in Afghanistan and called on the country’s Taliban rulers to immediately withdraw them. At a press conference, the Security Council “reiterated its deep concern about the closure of schools after grade 6 and the call for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan.”

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk pointed to the “horrible consequences” of the decision to exclude women from working in non-governmental organizations. Last week, Taliban authorities suspended college education for women, sparking international outrage and demonstrations in Afghan cities. On Saturday, they announced the exclusion of women from NGO operations. The move has already caused him to suspend operations in Afghanistan by four major international aid organizations. In a statement issued in Geneva, Mr Turck said, “No country can develop socially and economically, and no country can really survive if half the population is eliminated.” We fear that these immeasurable restrictions on Afghans will not only increase the suffering of all Afghans, but also pose a danger beyond Afghanistan’s borders.” This latest order by the de facto authorities will have dire consequences for women and all Afghans,” Turkey said, noting that banning women from working in NGOs would cost women and their families money and income. It would take away “the right to make positive contributions,” he added.

When the Taliban came to power last year, they initially promised a more flexible government that respects the rights of women and minorities, but they have largely implemented a strict interpretation of Islamic law and Shariah. They banned girls from attending middle and high schools, barred women from most jobs, and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing in public. Women were also barred from entering parks and gyms.

“Women and girls should not be denied their natural rights,” Turk said. “Attempts by the de facto authorities to silence and invisibly suppress them will not succeed. It harms all Afghans, exacerbates their suffering and hinders the development of the country.

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