UN officials express concern over situation of women in Afghanistan

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

As Afghan women are deprived of their basic rights, UN officials have once again raised concerns over the situation of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

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During a meeting titled “Women and youth should participate more in peacebuilding efforts” held in New York, the UN emphasized the rights of Afghan women, especially the restrictions on girls from attending universities and secondary schools, TOLOnews reports.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo described the situation of women in Afghanistan as a lost cause.

“Ultimately, it comes down to a simple approach — removing the barriers that prevent women from making their full contributions,” DiCarlo said at the meeting.

Moreover, Sima Bahous, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), citing data, said, “1.1 million girls in Afghanistan have been deprived of schooling since the 2021 ban.”

More than two and a half years have passed, but the Taliban have not yet made any new statement about reopening schools for girls above grade six. As the Taliban consolidate their control over Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis in the country is getting worse.

UN Secretary-General's spokesman Stephane Dujarric stressed the importance of dialogue with the current Afghan authorities, as well as the need to “ensure the rights of women and girls” in Afghanistan.

“We are following the same path as in the case of Afghanistan, which is negotiating with the de facto authorities, because they are the de facto authorities in Afghanistan. We also constantly press them on the issue of the rights of women and girls, which are their rights that are being denied almost every day across the border,” he said at the meeting, according to TOLOnews.

However, despite international opposition, the Taliban have not taken any concrete decision on when schools for girls will be opened in the country

The Taliban have repeatedly reiterated that women's rights in Afghanistan are ensured within the framework of Islamic law.

As TOLOnews reports, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “Men and women in Afghanistan have rights, and the Islamic Emirate is committed to providing those rights backed by Islamic law. The Islamic Emirate strives to address the rights of all citizens of the country.”

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s representative to the UN Human Rights Council highlighted the country’s efforts to achieve gender equality and called for the lifting of restrictions on women and girls.

With infrastructure collapsed and essential services disrupted, millions of people in Afghanistan are at risk of starvation and disease as the country grapples with a humanitarian crisis.

Humanitarian organisations are struggling to deliver aid amid security concerns and logistical challenges.

The ban on girls' schools since the Taliban came to power has deprived a generation of girls of education, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and inequality.

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