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A senior official of The United Nations (UN) told the security council on Wednesday that Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the “most repressive country in the world for the rights of women.”, the statement was released on the occasion of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2023.
Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva, UN Special Representative and head of the UN’s Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, strongly condemned recent Taliban decrees that have further eroded the rights of Afghan women.
She expressed her fear that, as 2023 progresses, bans on women and other restrictions imposed by the Taliban in Afghanistan would further hinder humanitarian access to those most in need.
The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has raised significant concerns for women’s rights in the country. During their previous rule, the Taliban banned girls and women from attending school or working outside the home. Women were required to wear a burqa in public and were not allowed to leave their homes without a male guardian. Women who violated these rules could be punished with public beatings or executions.
Before the Taliban’s takeover in 2021, Afghanistan had made some progress toward women’s rights. Women were able to work and attend school, and some held prominent positions in government and other areas.
Since the Taliban’s return to power, there have been reports of women being prevented from working or attending school, and of girls being forced to marry Taliban fighters. The Taliban have claimed that they will allow women to work and study within the bounds of Islamic law, but their past actions have led to scepticism about their commitment to upholding women’s rights. Despite these initial promises, Taliban has imposed harsh measures ever since it claimed power in August 2021.
Girls education beyond sixth grade is banned and women are not allowed to be in public spaces such as parks and gyms. Women are also barred from working in nongovernmental organizations.
TALIBAN TAKEOVER IN AFGHANISTAN 2021
The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan refers to the group’s return to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from the country after a 20-year-long conflict.
Following the withdrawal of foreign troops, the Taliban began rapidly taking control of large parts of Afghanistan, eventually seizing the capital city of Kabul on August 15, 2021.
The takeover has led to significant political and humanitarian consequences, including the displacement of thousands of Afghans, concerns for women’s rights and human rights under Taliban rule, and the emergence of a new refugee crisis as many Afghans flee the country. The international community has responded with various forms of aid and diplomatic pressure on the Taliban to uphold human rights and allow safe passage for those who wish to leave the country.
The situation for women in Afghanistan is currently uncertain, and it remains to be seen how the Taliban’s policies will evolve over time. The international community has called on the Taliban to respect human rights, including women’s rights, and to allow women to participate fully in all aspects of public life.
Despite all these issues, the Taliban have made some promises to respect women’s rights, including allowing women to work and study within the bounds of Islamic law. However, their track record and past actions have led to scepticism about their commitment to upholding women’s rights.
ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations has been actively monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and has called on the Taliban to respect human rights, including women’s rights. The UN has urged the Taliban to allow girls and women to continue their education, to protect women from violence and discrimination, and to ensure that women have equal participation in all aspects of public life.
The UN has also called on the international community to support Afghanistan, particularly in terms of humanitarian aid, and to work towards a peaceful and inclusive solution to the ongoing conflict in the country.
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