Photo: UNAMA

UNAMA vows to continue working in Afghanistan despite Taliban ‘onslaught’ on women

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in press release on Friday that Taliban’s discriminatory decision to bar women from working for the UN offices in Afghanistan has seriously affected their work by limiting their access to those in need.

The order to ban women from working with the UN was announced by the Taliban in early April, sparking widespread condemnation and protests. UN Secretary-General António Guterres promptly called it “unacceptable,”.

In the statement, UNAMA, while condemning the Taliban’s decision as “unlawful under international law,” indicated that the mission has engaged in several consultations with different stakeholders to “obtain a reversal of this ban and ensure the safety of all UN and aid personnel.”

“We reiterate our condemnation of the decision, which is unlawful under international law, including the UN Charter and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. We also reiterate the United Nations’ dismay over the relentless onslaught by the de facto authorities against the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan,” UNAMA noted in the statement.

“Following the imposition of the ban, we conducted extensive consultations with multiple Afghan stakeholders, including civil society and women’s groups, Member States and donors. At the same time, we continue our focused, principled and constructive engagement with all possible levels of the Taliban de facto authorities.” It added further.

UNAMA has also stated that they if they have to focus on their objectives to support the people in the country, they should engage with the de fact authorities of Taliban, regardless of the odds.

“We reiterate our commitment to stay and deliver on behalf of the men, women and children of Afghanistan…. We must remain focused on our objective to support the people of Afghanistan. We cannot disengage despite the challenges.”