The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday condemning a ban on Afghan women working for the United Nations in Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to “swiftly reverse” its policies and practices that restrict fundamental freedoms of women and girls.
The resolution, drafted by the United Arab Emirates and Japan, non-permanent members of the Council, and co-sponsored by more than 90 countries, expressed deep concern at the ”increasing erosion of respect” for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
It said the recent decision by the Taliban to ban Afghan women from working for the UN in Afghanistan, in addition to earlier restrictions that banned Afghan women from working for international and national non-governmental organizations, will negatively and severely impact UN operations in the country, including the delivery of life-saving assistance and basic services to the most vulnerable.
It called for the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women and girls in Afghanistan.
The Taliban said their decision to ban women from working for the UN was an “internal issue.”
The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2021, followed by the disruption of international financial assistance has left the worn-torn country in economic, humanitarian and human rights crises.
Taliban rulers have mounted a sustained attack on human rights despite their commitments to protect human and women’s rights.
Women and girls have been deprived of their rights, including the right to education, and disappeared from public life under the Taliban.
Thousands of women have since lost their jobs or were forced to resign from government institutions and the private sector.
US envoy to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement following the unanimous adoption of the resolution that the Council sent a clear message to the Taliban condemning their repression of Afghan women and girls.
”The international community will not remain on the sidelines while the women and girls of Afghanistan are deprived of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said.
”These draconian edicts only prevent Afghanistan from achieving stability, economic prosperity, and future growth; they place women and girls at increased risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation, and they hinder lifesaving humanitarian aid from reaching Afghans in desperate need.”