7 April 2023
GENEVA (6 April 2023) – UN experts* today demanded the immediate reversal of the Taliban’s recent order banning Afghan women from working with the United Nations in Afghanistan.
On 4 April, the de facto authorities prevented women working for the United Nations in Jalalabad from attending their places of work. Yesterday they issued a countrywide ban on Afghan women working with the United Nations. This follows the ban on women working with NGOs, issued on 24 December 2022, and the extensive list of earlier restrictions on women and girls issued since the Taliban took power.
The latest ban is unlawful discrimination against and a direct attack on women, and wholly against the core values and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the international human rights treaties to which Afghanistan is a party and humanitarian principles.
The experts reminded the de facto authorities that such a ban on female staff of non-governmental organisations has had a devastating impact on the population and humanitarian operations. The latest ban will further hamper the delivery of critical assistance to millions of Afghans in need of urgent support, with many of the worst impacted being women and girls, they warned.
“In continuing to target, exclude and isolate women and girls in Afghan society and denying women from working in many professions in Afghanistan, the Taliban is putting at risk the lives of all Afghans and jeopardising the country’s future. The Taliban is once again demonstrating its brazen disregard for women’s rights and their well-being, and the extent to which they will go to remove women from all areas of public life and strip them of their rights and dignity,” the experts said.
“The targeting of women and girls in Afghanistan and denying their fundamental rights because they are women increases concern about gender persecution, a crime against humanity, and those responsible must be held accountable,” they said.
The experts encouraged theinternational community to stand in solidarity with Afghan women and girls and use every possible avenue to convince the Taliban to reverse this unacceptable treatment of women which will have devastating consequences for all Afghan people.
“We call on thede facto authorities to immediately lift the bans on women working with national and international NGOs and the United Nations,” they said. #