UN Experts: Taliban must stop targeting Afghan women

A number of UN experts, including its special rapporteur on Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, condemned the Taliban’s ban on women’s work with the UN offices in a statement on Thursday and called the decision a direct attack on women in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday the United Nations confirmed it had asked thousands of its employees in Afghanistan to not come to work after the Taliban notified its officials that women were not permitted to work with the organization. The Taliban decision has provoked outraged statements form international human rights organizations, United Nation, United States, European Union and many more. 

“The Taliban is once again demonstrating its brazen disregard for women’s rights and their well-being, and the extent to which they will go to remove women from all areas of public life and strip them of their rights and dignity,” the UN experts said.

The experts added that the targeting of women and girls in Afghanistan and denying their fundamental rights for their gender increases concern about gender persecution, a crime against humanity, and those responsible must be held accountable.

“The latest ban is unlawful discrimination against and a direct attack on women, and wholly against the core values and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international human rights treaties to which Afghanistan is a party and humanitarian principles,” the statement noted.

According to the experts, the ban on women from working in non-governmental organizations has a destructive effect on the population and humanitarian operations, and could disrupt the delivery of vital aid to millions of Afghans in need.

The UN experts urged the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan women and girls and use every possible avenue to convince the Taliban to reverse this unacceptable treatment of women.

They also called on Taliban to immediately lift the bans on women working with national and international NGOs and the United Nations.