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World|politics|April 10, 2023 / 10:10 AM
UNSC holds closed door meeting over ban on Afghan female UN workers

AKIPRESS.COM - Following the ban by the Taliban authorities on the Afghan female staff of UNAMA, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday on the Taliban’s action and pushed its calls for the ban to be overturned, TOLO news reported.

Speaking to reporters in New York, the US Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, said Washington considers the ban “basically as another effort by the Taliban to erase Afghan women and girls from society.”

Addressing a UN press conference, Barbara Woodward, the Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN, said that “it would be very hard to recognize the Taliban as a government" as they are “excluding women from society in general and that is not an acceptable step for recognition.”

While asked about the ban, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told reporters that “everybody was appalled by the decision that Taliban made.”

“We agreed to work on a product by the Security Council, proposed by some delegations, to work it in a quiet atmosphere and come up with something that would be useful and balanced,” he said.
The political analysts and human rights defenders gave various opinions in this regard:

“The policies of the UN and international community toward the Taliban have so far been patient… the necessary pressure on the Taliban has not been imposed,” said Sayed Jawad Sijadi, university instructor.

“The caretaker government will be once again driven into isolation. The conditions it has for the international community will not be realized. So, there should be efforts to reach an agreement via negotiations,” said Suraya Paikan, human rights’ defender.

UNAMA announced late Wednesday that it “has been notified by the de facto authorities that, with immediate effect, no Afghan woman is permitted to work for the UN in Afghanistan, and that this measure will be actively enforced.”

Earlier, the Taliban’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told TOLOnews that the ban happened due to some problems in Nangarhar province and that there is no problem in the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on Thursday urged the Taliban authorities to put Afghans first and reverse the ban on females working with the UN. The remarks came after the latest ban on Afghan female staffers working with the UN in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Antony Blinken called the latest banning on Afghan women a wrong decision and said, “Disturbed by another reprehensible Taliban decision banning Afghan women from working with the UN,” said in a tweet.

He further expressed his concerns about the country’s vulnerable Afghans who depend on humanitarian aid and urged the de facto authorities to consider Afghans’ interests and reverse the decision. “This will threaten vulnerable Afghans who depend on humanitarian assistance. We urge the Taliban to put Afghans first and reverse this decision,” Blinken said.

UN Secretary general Antonio Guterres also condemned the ban on Afghan females working with the UN and expressed concerns that the ban would undermine the ability to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people of Afghanistan, including women and children.

He called on the Taliban to reverse this ban immediately, as the UN could not operate without its female staff. “If this measure is not reversed, it will inevitably undermine our ability to deliver life-saving aid to the people who need it,” Guterres added.

But despite intense criticism from domestic and international organizations, the Taliban authorities have increased its hardline policy on women’s employment and education.

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