UN Calls for Taliban to Reverse Restrictions on Women

The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned the ruling Taliban's recent laws targeting Afghan women, calling for "the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan."

UN Calls for Taliban to Reverse Restrictions on Women
Image credit: Stringer/Getty Images [via Axios]

Facts

  • The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned the ruling Taliban's recent laws targeting Afghan women, calling for "the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan."
  • This comes as the body denounced the Taliban for banning women from attending universities and working for local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), adding that the latter order would impact aid operations in the country.
  • Earlier this month, the UN humanitarian office warned that a record 28.3M Afghans — over two-thirds of its population — will need humanitarian and other assistance in 2023 as the country has faced a humanitarian crisis since the Taliban took over last year.
  • At least five top NGOs suspended their work in Afghanistan following the ban on female humanitarian workers, including Care International, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and Save the Children, which said it can't continue its work "without our female staff."
  • The UNSC also argued that these restrictions are at odds with commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people as well as to the international community, which has made women's rights a condition in negotiations with the government over restoring aid.
  • The Taliban has implemented several policies targeting women in the nation since regaining government control last year, with secondary schools being closed in most provinces and women being prevented from entering parks and gyms, among other public places.

Sources: CNN, Axios, BBC News, and Guardian.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Guardian. A rare unanimous condemnation by the UNSC may be adequate to demonstrate that the Taliban has gone too far in its crackdown on women's rights, amounting to unjustifiable human rights violations against the Afghan people as it silences and excludes half of its population — a move that not only slows human rights and domestic economic progress but hinders humanitarian efforts in the country.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Bakhtar. The suspension of women's employment in foreign NGOs is a matter of Afghanistan's internal affairs that has been decided by its own leaders, so foreign powers should refrain from meddling in it. And, given that Afghanistan is a sovereign state, all those institutions willing to operate within the country must comply with its rules and regulations instead of making threats.

Predictions