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The UN Security Council urges the lifting of restrictions on Afghan women and girls


Kabul: More than two-thirds of the UN Security Council’s members demanded Monday that the Taliban rescind policies and decrees discriminating against women and girls, including banning girls education above the sixth grade and women’s right to work and move freely.

A statement by 11 of the 15 council members condemned the Afghan rulers repression of women and girls since they took power in August 2021, and again insisted on their equal participation in public, political, economic, cultural and social life.

Guyana’s UN Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett read the statement, surrounding by ambassadors of the 10 other countries, before a closed council meeting on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ conference with more than 25 envoys to Afghanistan on Feb. 18-19 in Qatar’s capital, Doha.

While the Taliban did not attend the meetings, UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo did meet with Taliban officials based in Doha, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. DiCarlo also briefed council members at Monday’s closed meeting.

The 11 council nations supporting the statement — Ecuador, France, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States – underscored that there can only be sustainable peace in Afghanistan if its political process is inclusive and the human rights of all Afghans are respected including women and girls.

The Taliban refused to attend the Doha meeting. A Foreign Ministry statement said participation would only be beneficial if the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, are the sole and official representative for the country at the talks. Secretary-General Guterres told reporters in Doha that among participants – also including representatives of the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – there was “total consensus” on requirements for Afghanistan to be integrated into the international community.

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