UN’s top woman in Afghanistan for talks on Taliban crackdown

The highest-ranking woman at the United Nations arrived in Kabul on Tuesday to head a delegation to promote the rights of women and girls in response to a recent crackdown by Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, former Nigerian Cabinet Minister and Muslim, Sima Bahous, UN Agency for the Promotion of Gender Equality and Women’s Rights, UN Women Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Khaled Khyari, UN Deputy. Spokesperson Farhan Haque said.

Haq said he could not disclose their schedule or specific meetings in Kabul for security reasons.

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“UN officials held high-level consultations across the Gulf, Asia and Europe to discuss the situation in Afghanistan in an effort to promote and protect the rights of women and girls, peaceful coexistence and sustainable development,” the spokesman said.

Members of the delegation met with the Organization of the Islamic Conference of 57 countries, the Islamic Development Bank, Afghan women’s groups in Ankara, Turkey and Islamabad, and a group of ambassadors and special envoys to Afghanistan in Doha. The capital of Qatar, he said.

“Throughout the visits, countries and partners recognized the critical role of the UN in finding a path to a lasting solution as well as the need to continue providing life-saving assistance,” Haque said. exigency of the situation.”

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A Dec. 24 order from the Taliban banning aid groups from employing women is freezing deliveries that help keep millions of Afghans alive and threatening humanitarian services across the country. Another result of the ban is that thousands of women working for such organizations across the war-torn country are losing the income they need to support their own families. The Taliban previously banned girls from attending secondary schools and women from attending universities, and imposed restrictions on foreign travel and their movement within the country.

The Taliban regained power in Afghanistan in August 2021 after a chaotic withdrawal of US and NATO forces after 20 years. As it did when it first ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, the militant group has gradually reimposed Islamic law, or sharia, pushing women out of schools, jobs and aid work and increasingly into their homes.

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Haq said it was important for the international community to unite and speak with one voice as officials from other countries met with UN leaders.

“The need for a revitalized and realistic political path has been consistently highlighted and all are firmly committed to fundamental principles, including the rights of women and girls in education, work and public life in Afghanistan,” he said.

Haque said the groups had agreed in principle to hold an international conference in March on women and girls in the Muslim world.

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