December 9, 2023 2:25 PM

Taliban Regrets UN Talks on Diverted by ‘Small Topics’ Like Afghan Women’s Education, Work

Last Updated: September 27, 2023, 18:28 IST

New York, United States of America (USA)

An Afghan woman walks past a beauty salon in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 6, 2023. (Reuters/Ali Khara)

An Afghan woman walks past a beauty salon in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 6, 2023. (Reuters/Ali Khara)

Taliban expresses regret over UN talks on Afghanistan being diverted by “small topics” like women’s education and work, amid concerns about rights violations

The Taliban has expressed regret that the UN talks on Afghanistan at the Security Council on Tuesday were diverted by what the outfit described as ‘small topics’ of women’s education and work. In a statement on X, the spokesperson of the radical Islamic group complained that UN sanctions on the Taliban and other important issues were subsided at the high-level briefing.

“Discussions and opinions in the United Nations were diverted by raising only two small and domestic topics as such women’s education and their work. In Afghanistan, security, general amnesty, peace and stability, economic development, formation of security forces, provision of budget from internal revenue, extending education across the country and dozens of other developments have not been discussed,” Taliban’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid said.

In a long thread, Mujahid added, “It was necessary to discuss the end of the blacklist in the United Nations, the removal of sanctions, the release of seized assets, and finally the recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the handing over of the seat of Afghanistan to Afghans.”

The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021 and imposed policies severely restricting the basic rights of all citizens, particularly those of women and girls. The Taliban’s policies have had a devastating impact on their lives. Millions of Afghan women and girls have been forced to leave their jobs, schools, and homes. Many have been subjected to violence and intimidation.

At the UN Security Council Briefing on Tuesday, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous said the last time the Security Council met on Afghanistan, it was reported that there were more than 50 edicts and decrees restricting women’s rights. “More have been added since,” she added.

Bahous highlighted the Taliban’s attacks on women’s rights exacerbate this, pushing women out of jobs and opportunities to generate income, and out of the education they need to be part of Afghanistan’s future.

In her briefing to the Security Council, UN Special Representative and UNAMA head Roza Otunbayeva said the policies of the de facto authorities that drive the exclusion of women are “unacceptable to the international community.”

Tuesday’s meeting at the Security Council came in the backdrop of a recent UN report documenting more than 1600 cases of human rights violations during the arrest and detention of Afghans in the last 19 months.

According to the report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released last week, nearly 50 percent of these violations comprise acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

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