Photo via Afghanistan’s Women Protester Movements Coalition

“UN complicit in Taliban’s gender apartheid”: Women’s Protestor Coalition

Afghanistan’s Women Protester Movements Coalition in a statement on Friday accused the United Nations of complicity with the Taliban’s gender apartheid amid unfolding human rights and humanitarian crises in the country.

The Coalition has noted that the Taliban’s ban on women’s employment was a “completely foreseeable move” and evident from the 40 decrees they have issued to impose severe restrictions on women’s rights since their return to power in August 2021.

“We implore the international community to prioritize women’s human rights and take action to demonstrate their commitment to these values in practice. Failure to do so is a tacit endorsement of the Taliban’s gender apartheid and an affront to human dignity.” Part of the statement reads.

The Coalition believes that the decision by the UN to continue working in Afghanistan despite the Taliban’s ban on women working is a clear violation of human rights and a betrayal of the UN’s values of inclusion and participation of women.

It has further added that the UN’s compliance with the Taliban’s repressive orders under the pretext of distributing humanitarian aid has given the group more confidence to continue their attacks on women’s rights without being held to account.

“It’s not the first time that the international community, including the UN, has failed to take strong action against the Taliban’s egregious violations of human rights, and this has only emboldened them to continue their relentless attacks on women’s rights with impunity.” The statement notes.

The members of the coalition have urged the UN and other international aid organizations to take a stronger stance in defending women’s rights, saying “It’s time for them to suspend their activities in Afghanistan until women are allowed to work, abandon any unconditional engagement with the Taliban, and use all means and leverage to hold them accountable for their human rights violations.”

Freedom Now, a Washington-based human rights organization, had previously expressed similar concerns about the United Nation’s compliance with the Taliban’s ban on women’s work. In a statement released, Freedom Now called the UN’s decision a violation of the organization’s Charter on gender equality principles and urged the UN to take a decisive position against the discrimination of the Taliban to defend the rights of its female employees.