UN Chief: Taliban’s ban of UN female staff is an intolerable violation
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UN Chief: Taliban’s ban of UN female staff is intolerable

“Banning Afghan women from working with the UN in Afghanistan is an intolerable violation of the most basic human rights,” the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Taliban in a tweet late on Wednesday over the group’s recently imposed ban.

He reiterated on his call on the Taliban to immediately revoke the decision and as well as reverse all other measures restricting women’s and girls’ rights to work, education, and freedom of movement.

The warning came hours after the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) officially confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that it was notified by the Taliban authorities that no woman was permitted to work with the UN offices in Afghanistan.

“Several UN national female personnel have already experienced restrictions on their movements, including harassment, intimidation, and detention. The UN has therefore instructed all national staff – men and women – not to report to the office until further notice,” part of the statement reads, describing the ban as “unlawful” and “unacceptable” for the United Nations.

On Tuesday, the UN confirmed that it has asked all its 3,300 male and female employees in Afghanistan to not come to work for two days as a result of the ban imposed by the Taliban.

The UN mission further said on Wednesday that its head and special representative of the UN chief, Roza Otunbayeva, was engaging with the highest possible leadership of the Taliban to convey is protest over the decision while the UN was engaging with its Member States, donors and partners.

UNAMA also asserted that its female Afghans staff members “must be allowed to move freely throughout Afghanistan” to independently exercise their functions without any hindrance, making it crystal clear for the Taliban that its female staffers “cannot receive instructions on the performance of their duties from any authority” external to the United Nations.

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.