Taliban bans on women

UN Chief: Taliban bans on women’s rights to education and work ‘must be revoked’

UN Secretary-General António Guterres termed the Taliban’s bans on women’s education and work as “unjustifiable human rights violations”, noting that they must be revoked. He made these remarks after representatives of five UN agencies met the Taliban health minister in Kabul.

“The latest restrictions by the Taliban on employment & education of women & girls are unjustifiable human rights violations & must be revoked,” Guterres said in a tweet on Wednesday, December 28.

Actions to exclude women and girls cause immense suffering and cause major setbacks to the potential of the Afghan people, the UN Chief added.

He made these remarks after representatives of at least five UN agencies involved in humanitarian operations in Afghanistan met the Taliban Minister of Public Health, Qalandar Ebad, in Kabul on Tuesday.

Representatives of the World Health Organization, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs were present at the meeting.

After the meeting, UNAMA said in a tweet that UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan Fran Equiza met the Taliban minister. “UN calls for the Taliban ban on women working for NGOs & INGOs to be lifted in its entirety,” the UN mission added.

UNAMA further warned that the Taliban ban will impact millions of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan.

In addition to the UN agencies, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Agha Khan Foundation also met the Taliban health minister on the same day.

According to the Taliban’s health ministry, Ebad discussed the improvement of health service delivery in meetings with the representatives of these international organizations.

In its latest restrictions against women, the Taliban banned women from working for national and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on Saturday, December 24.

Like the group’s ban on women’s university education announced on December 20, the ban on women’s work also triggered strong global reactions and forced at least four international organizations to suspend their humanitarian operations in Afghanistan.