Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

UN says Taliban divided on appeal to restore women’s rights

UN says Taliban divided on appeal to restore women’s rights

A delegation led by the highest-ranking woman at the United Nations urged the Taliban during a four-day visit to Afghanistan that ended Friday to reverse their crackdown on women and girls. Some Taliban officials were more open to restoring women’s rights but others were clearly opposed, a UN spokesman said.
The UN team met with the Taliban in the capital of Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar. It did not release the names of any of the Taliban officials. The meetings focused on the restrictive measures the Taliban have imposed on women and girls since they took power in August 2021, during the final weeks of the US and NATO forces’ pullout after 20 years of war.

The team, headed by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, found that some Taliban officials “have been cooperative and they’ve received some signs of progress,” said UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq. “The key thing is to reconcile the (Taliban) officials that they’ve met who’ve been more helpful with those who have not.”

Haq stressed that “there are many different points of authority” among the Taliban and that the UN team will try to get them to “work together to advance the goals that we want, which include most crucially, bringing women and girls back to the full enjoyment of their rights.”

Mohammed, a former Nigerian Cabinet minister and a Muslim, was joined on the trip by Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women, which promotes gender equality and women’s rights, and Assistant Secretary General for political affairs Khaled Khiari.

As the Taliban did during their previous rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, they gradually re-imposed their harsh interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia.

Girls have been barred from school beyond the sixth grade and women are banned from most jobs, public spaces and gyms.

In late December, the Taliban barred aid groups from employing women, paralyzing deliveries that help keep millions of Afghans alive, and threatening humanitarian services countrywide. In addition, thousands of women who work for aid organizations across the war-battered country are facing the loss of income they desperately need to feed their own families.

Limited work by women has been allowed in some sectors, including the health field.

“What we’ve seen in terms of basic rights for women and girls is a huge step backwards,” Haq said. “We are trying to do more and we’ll continue on that front.”

In a statement, Mohammed said her message to the Taliban was very clear — “these restrictions present Afghan women and girls with a future that confines them in their own homes, violating their rights and depriving the communities of their services.”

She stressed that delivery of humanitarian aid is based on the principle requiring unhindered and safe access for all aid workers, including women.

“Our collective ambition is for a prosperous Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors, and on a path to sustainable development. But right now, Afghanistan is isolating itself, in the midst of a terrible humanitarian crisis and one of the most vulnerable nations on earth to climate change,” she said.

During the trip that also included a visit to western Herat, Mohammed’s team also met humanitarian workers, civil society representatives and women in the three cities.

“Afghan women left us no doubt of their courage and refusal to be erased from public life,” Bahous, of UN Women, said in a statement. “They will continue to advocate and fight for their rights, and we are duty bound to support them in doing so.”

“What is happening in Afghanistan is a grave women’s right crisis and a wakeup call for the international community,” she said, stressing that the Taliban restrictions and edicts show “how quickly decades of progress on women´s rights can be reversed in a matter of days.”

Before arriving in Kabul, members of the delegation visited Muslim countries in the Middle East as well as Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkiye. They met leaders of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Islamic Development Bank and groups of Afghan women in Ankara, Turkiye, and Islamabad, as
well as a group of ambassadors and special envoys to Afghanistan based in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

“The need for a revitalized and realistic political pathway was consistently highlighted and all remained firm on the fundamental principles, including women’s and girls’ rights to education, work and public life in Afghanistan,” the UN said.

Haq apologized for a photo on social media of seven men from the UN delegation’s security team posing in front of a Taliban flag, calling it “a mistake” and “a significant lapse of judgment.”

No country has recognized the Taliban, and Afghanistan’s seat at the United Nations is still held by the previous government headed by Ashraf Ghani. The UN refers to the Taliban as the country’s “de facto authorities.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

Saudi Press
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
China Criticizes US for Vetoing UN Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
The U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, instead proposing its own six-week ceasefire plan contingent upon the release of all hostages held by Hamas
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia ranks first in UN index for e-government services in MENA
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Israel Records 20% Drop In GDP, War In Gaza Is The Reason
Saudi Arabia's FDI Inflows Grow with New International Standards
Venture Capitals Power Up Across MENA Region
Saudi Arabia Introduces Terms for 30-Year Income Tax Exemption for Multinational Companies
Saudi FM: Establishing Palestinian state is only pathway for Mideast stability
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Elon Musk's Starlink Gets License For Israel, Parts Of Gaza
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
PM Modi Announces Opening Of New CBSE Office In Dubai
International Criminal Court's Chief "Deeply Concerned" By Rafah Bombing
January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
Saudi Arabia accelerates digital economy growth through Nvidia partnership
Indian female military officers commend Saudi Arabia's progress and women's empowerment
Israel unveils tunnels underneath Gaza City headquarters of UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Israel deploys new military AI in Gaza war
Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Israel Utilizes AI Military Technology in Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
China Warns Iran to Halt Houthi Attacks or Damage Trade Ties
US University To Shut Qatar Campus Due To "Heightened Mideast Instability"
Iran-backed hackers interrupt UAE TV streaming services with deepfake news
Facebook and Instagram Ban Iran's Supreme Leader
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken: The Israelis underwent dehumanization on 7.10, this does not give them the right to do this to others.
Defense Technology Showcase Held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rise 2.5% to $6bn in November 2023: GASTAT
UK Bans Misleading "Zero Emissions" Claims for Electric Cars
Gaza's Teen Inventor Sparks Light in Displacement
Netanyahu Rejects Ceasefire Proposal, Insists On Total Victory Over Hamas
Guterres appoints independent UNRWA review panel
Private Sector Employment Hits Record High with Over 11 Million Employees in January
Rolls-Royce Executive Encourages Saudi Women to Tap into Their Inner 'Superhero' for Success in Defense Industry
Saudi Arabia launches National Academy of Vehicles and Cars
Saudi Tourism Minister Reveals Plan for 250,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030
SAR to more than double eastern network passenger capacity with new trains deal
Saudi Arabia Enhances National Defense with New Partnerships
Saudi Aramco Maintains Arab Light Crude Pricing to Asia for March
NEOM Establishes New York Office to Support Investors
Saudi Wealth Fund Draws in Over $25 Billion Worth of Investments in Three Years, Al-Rumayyan Reveals
ZATCA Cautions Against Scammer Schemes
INTRA Defense Technologies inaugurates drone factory in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Alkhorayef, has announced a partnership with the London Metal Exchange to set up metal storage and delivery centers in the country. Alkhorayef highlighted Saudi Arabia's expanding military industries sector, crediting the Public Investment Fund (PIF) as a key partner, during his speech at the second PIF Private Sector Forum in Riyadh
×