Afghanistan

UN chief urges Taliban to keep promises; allow women to work, study

UN chief urges Taliban to keep promises; allow women to work, study

PESHAWAR: United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres slammed the Taliban for “breaking” commitments with the international community regarding the Afghan women and girls

A statement issued by the United Nations Assistant Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) quoted Guterres as saying that he had called on the global community to provide more assistance to Afghanistan in order to save the country from falling into economic crisis.

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Guterres was quoted a saying: “We have seen the Taliban breaking their promises regarding Afghan women and girls, and I am particularly wary about it.” He called on the Taliban to honor their commitments under international law. “Women and girls should be the focus,” Guterres said. “Their right to education, to work and to property, and to have the right to a dignified life must be protected.”

He said that eighty percent of the Afghan economy is informal, with a majority of women and thus there is no other way to rebuild the Afghan economy and society without Afghan women. The Taliban have not allowed women to work in offices or study since their takeover of Kabul on 15 August. The Taliban said they will allow women to work “within the framework of Islamic law” after creating a conducive environment.

But now UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says: “Breaking promises means breaking the aspirations of Afghan women and girls.” Earlier on Saturday and Sunday, in the first round of face-to-face talks with the Taliban since the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the State Department said that US will put pressure on the Taliban to respect human rights, especially women’s rights.

During the talks between the US and the Taliban, the acting foreign minister, Mullah Amir Khan Mottaki, said that the Taliban would take every step according to the wishes of Afghan people. Mr Mottaki said: “None of the women employees hired by the previous government has been fired.”

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