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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Taliban Attacks on Afghan Women to be Denounced by the UN Security Council

On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council is expected to vote to denounce the Taliban administration's repression of women's and girls' rights and to demand that it “swiftly reverse” its prohibition on Afghan women working for the UN in Afghanistan.

The resolution that will be voted on, which was written by Japan and the United Arab Emirates and obtained by Reuters, calls the restriction “unprecedented in the history of the United Nations” and affirms “the indispensable role of women in Afghan society.”

Diplomats said that adoption is anticipated. For a resolution to succeed, it must have at least nine votes in favor and not face vetoes from China, France, Britain, Russia, or the United States.

In the resolution's draft, it is stated that the prohibition on Afghan women working for the UN “undermines human rights and humanitarian principles.”

After prohibiting the majority of Afghan women from working for humanitarian relief organizations in December, the Taliban started enforcing the prohibition on them working for the U.N. earlier this month.

They have also strengthened restrictions on women's access to public life after ousting the Western-backed administration in 2021, including prohibiting women from attending universities and shutting girls' high schools.

According to the Taliban, who adhere to a rigorous interpretation of Islamic law, women's rights are respected. Taliban representatives said that the choice of female humanitarian workers is a “internal issue.”

The proposed Security Council resolution urges that the parties provide complete, quick, secure, and unfettered humanitarian access “regardless of gender” and “stresses the urgent need to continue addressing the dire economic and humanitarian situation.”

Along with that, it “acknowledges the need to assist in addressing the significant challenges facing Afghanistan's economy, including through efforts to enable the use of assets belonging to Afghanistan's Central Bank for the benefit of the Afghan people.”

Billion-dollar reserves held by the bank in the United States were frozen by the country, which eventually transferred half of the funds to a Swiss trust fund under the management of American, Swiss, and Afghan trustees.

A further emphasis in the draft resolution is placed on “the critical importance” of the UN's ongoing presence in Afghanistan.

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