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UN: Afghan women faces serious challenges

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Kabul: On the occasion of 8 March women’s international day UN, national and international organizations raised concerns about Afghan women facing challenges during the past two years.  

Afghanistan is the “most repressive country in the world” for women’s rights, with authorities effectively trapping women and girls in their homes, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The Afghan interim government has imposed a slew of restrictions on girls and women since seizing power in August 2021.

“It has been distressing to witness their methodical, deliberate, and systematic efforts to push Afghan women and girls out of the public sphere,” Roza Otunbayeva, head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement marking International Women’s Day.

The UN mission said the crackdown was a “colossal act of national self-harm” at a time Afghanistan faces some of the world’s largest humanitarian and economic crises.

Afghan authorities have banned Afghan women from working with NGOs, forcing several aid agencies to suspend their vital work.

The other crackdown has been on school girls and university students, with the authorities banning them from secondary schools and higher educational institutions.

Some women have staged sporadic protests against the bans, but authorities usually disperse them swiftly.

More than half the country’s 38 million people are facing hunger and nearly four million children suffer from malnutrition, aid agencies say.

Foreign aid has also declined dramatically and Afghanistan’s assets were frozen by the United States further aggravating the crisis.

Alison Davidian, the United Nations’ special representative for women in Afghanistan, said the implications of the government’s policies “impacts all Afghans and will resonate throughout generations”.

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