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UN asks Taliban to reverse restrictions on women in Afghanistan


Kabul: The UN Security Council has called on the Taliban to reverse policies targeting women and girls in Afghanistan, expressing alarm at the “increasing erosion” of human rights.

The 15-member UN security council said it was “deeply alarmed” by the increasing restrictions on women’s education, calling for “the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan”.

It urged the Taliban “to reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which they called restricting the women fundamental freedoms”.

The council also condemned the ban on women working for NGOs, warning of the detrimental impact the ban will have on aid operations in a country where millions rely on them.

“These restrictions contradict the commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people as well as the expectations of the international community.”

The international community has made respecting women’s rights a condition in negotiations with the Taliban government over the restoration of aid.

The UN secretary general, António Guterres, echoed the Security Council’s message, calling the latest restrictions on women and girls “must be revoked”.

Volker Turk, UN high commissioner for human rights also warned that banning women from working in NGOs would strip families of crucial incomes as well as “significantly impair, if not destroy” organizations’ capacity to deliver essential services, calling it all the more distressing with Afghanistan in the grip of winter, when humanitarian needs are at their highest.

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