Top United Nations officials have issued a warning to the Taliban government in Afghanistan, stating that its ban on Afghan women working for the UN mission in the country violates the world body’s charter. The UN has demanded that the ban be revoked, as it infringes upon the fundamental human rights of women. Under the Taliban’s interpretation of Islam, women in Afghanistan have faced numerous restrictions, including being barred from higher education and many government jobs. This is a worrying trend that echoes the Taliban’s previous rule between 1996 and 2001, which was marked by repeated human rights violations against girls and women.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has instructed all Afghan staff, including men and women, not to report to the office after the ban was confirmed. The Taliban government had extended its ban on women working for non-governmental organizations to the UN’s workforce of some 400 Afghan women. UN humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, stated that the Taliban’s ban is a clear violation of the United Nations charter. He emphasized that no authority can give instructions to the UN on who should be employed and that the organization will not make an exception.
It is unclear what the long-term effects of the charter violation would be. However, the UN has ordered all Afghan staff not to report to the office until further notice. The UN Security Council has also planned to discuss the issue at a closed-door meeting on Thursday morning. The world must continue to stand in solidarity with Afghan women, who have been deprived of their fundamental rights under the Taliban’s rule. The UN’s stance sends a clear message that the international community will not tolerate any violation of women’s rights and will hold the Taliban accountable for their actions.