Taliban call the ban on women working for the UN a “internal social matter.”The Afghan Foreign Ministry said the resolution violated its “sovereign choices.”
Afghan women are barred from most secondary education and universities, government and NGO jobs, and public spaces like gyms and parks. The Taliban’s ban on Afghan women working for the UN was a “internal social matter,” they said on April 28, a day after the UN Security Council demanded they reverse it. The Security Council’s April 27 resolution said a ban on women working for the UN and NGOs in Afghanistan “undermines human rights and humanitarian principles”.
It asked “all States and organisations to use their influence” to “promote an urgent reversal of these policies and practises”.The Afghan Foreign Ministry said the resolution violated the country’s “sovereign choices” on Friday. “We remain committed to ensuring all rights of Afghan women while emphasising that diversity must be respected and not politicised,” it said.
“This is an internal social matter of Afghanistan that does not impact outside states.” Since ousting the foreign-backed government and returning to power in August 2021, Taliban authorities have imposed an austere version of sharia that the UN calls “gender-based apartheid”.
Women are barred from most secondary education and universities, government jobs and NGOs, and jobs and NGOs, and most public spaces like gyms and parks. A senior Taliban leader urged the U.N. Security Council to abandon its “failed policy of pressure” Friday.
“Any position adopted, that is not based upon a deep understanding won’t give the desired results and will always be ineffective,” said Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban leader without government authority. The foreign ministry welcomed “the principle of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned right to self-determination” in the resolution. It claimed the humanitarian crisis was caused by economic restrictions.
“The reality is that this ongoing crisis can only be resolved by the removal of restrictions on the country,” the statement said.
On Thursday, Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzia criticised the resolution despite signing it.
“We seriously regret and are disappointed that steps and a more ambitious approach and texts were blocked by Western colleagues,” he said.
“If you’re so sincere, why not return the assets you’ve stolen from the country without any preconditions,” he said of the $7 billion in Afghan central bank assets frozen by the US after the Taliban took power.
The US established a Swiss fund to manage half the money in September. On Friday, Amnesty International welcomed the Security Council resolution but said it “fell short of setting out concrete steps” that member states should take to help restore women and girls’ rights and hold Afghanistan’s rulers accountable. The Taliban banned Afghan women from working in UN offices nationwide on April 4, several months after an edict against NGOs.
The move drew widespread criticism and a U.N. review of Afghanistan operations until May 5.
The UN has stressed “the dire economic and humanitarian situation” in Afghanistan and the “critical importance of a continued presence” of its mission and other agencies. The following week, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene envoys in Doha to “reinvigorate the international engagement around the common objectives for a durable way forward on the situation in Afghanistan”.
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