Latest Taliban ban on women draws global outrage and condemnations

The Taliban’s decision of prohibiting women in Afghanistan to work with the UN has provoked outraged statements from UN agencies, European Union, United States, World Bank officials, Chile, human rights organizations, and many more.

On Tuesday the United Nations confirmed it had asked thousands of its employees in Afghanistan to not come to work at least for two days after the Taliban notified its officials that women were not permitted to work with the organization.

Delivering her opening remarks at the Press Launch of the 2023 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, however, said on Wednesday in New York that the UN has instructed all its national staff in Afghanistan not to report to the office until “additional clarification” is received.

“On a personal note, I am outraged. I am terribly troubled by the fact that in the month of Ramadan, that what we get from the Taliban is a strike against the teachings and the belief of Islam,” she said, assuring that posts of women and staff will not be backfilled by men.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on Afghanistan said the Taliban’s latest ban was “utterly despicable” and could drive the people of Afghanistan into further despair. “This is a systematic, relentless assault on the people of Afghanistan as a whole by the Taliban de facto authorities, which appear to be actively working to incapacitate, intimidate and harass half of the population,” he said in a statement Wednesday, calling on the Taliban officials to rethink about their policies.

EU also joined the UN in condemning the decision. “EU is shocked that Taliban leadership now banned Afghan women from working for the UN,” said EU’s spokesman, Peter Stano.

“This ban on UN female employees in Afghanistan is unconscionable. Millions of people, especially women and children, will be deprived of much-needed humanitarian support in Afghanistan if the Taliban’s ban is not reversed immediately,” Amnesty International tweeted on Wednesday.

Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia, Martin Raiser, also reacted against the Taliban’s decision in a tweet, saying that it would negatively impact Afghanistan’s economy.

The Bank’s country director for Afghanistan, Melinda Good, reiterated the Bank’s VP’s comments about the impact of the decision.

Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations Paula Narváez termed the Taliban’s decision as the gravest decision which constituted an open violation of the women’s human rights. “We continue to use international instruments to defend the women’s and girls’ rights all across the world,” she asserted in a Spanish tweet.

Contrary to a widely media campaign of change in Taliban’s treatment of women, the group once again confined women and girls to their home spaces after recaptured Afghanistan in August 2021. In addition to movement restrictions, women and girls are banned from education and work in all over Afghanistan.