NEW YORK: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday said that it is “deeply alarmed” by the reports that the Taliban have prohibited women and girls from attending universities, and it reiterated its serious concerns regarding the Taliban’s decision to close all schools up to and including the sixth grade.
“The Security Council is deeply alarmed by reports that the Taliban have suspended access to universities for women and girls, and reiterated its deep concern about the suspension of schools beyond the sixth grade, and its call for the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan,” the press statement of UN Security Council on Afghanistan read.
Expressing concern over the situation of women in the war-torn country of Afghanistan, the Security Council called on the Taliban to reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which represents an increasing erosion of fundamental freedoms of people in the country.
The Taliban reportedly has also forbidden female employees of NGOs and international organizations from reporting to work, which, according to the Security Council would have a large and immediate impact on humanitarian activities in the country, including those of the UN.
As per the Security Council, the statement said, “The Security Council is furthermore profoundly concerned by reports that the Taliban have banned female employees of NGOs and international organizations from going to work, which would have a significant and immediate impact on humanitarian operations in the country, including those of the UN, and the delivery of aid and health work, and that these restrictions contradict the commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people as well as the expectations of the international community.”
It further reiterated its support to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to carry out the mandate including monitoring and reporting on the situation in the war-ravaged nation which, at present is under the Taliban regime.
The Council further called for keeping it updated on developments and continuing engagement with all pertinent Afghan political actors and stakeholders, including competent authorities, in accordance with UNAMA’s mandate.
“The Security Council reiterated its full support to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the importance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to carry out her mandate including through monitoring and reporting on the situation, and continued engagement with all relevant Afghan political actors and stakeholders, including relevant authorities, on these issues, consistent with the mandate of UNAMA, and keeping the Security Council informed on progress,” the press release stated.
After the Taliban’s ban on women from working in non-governmental organizations, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern about the decision. Guterres stressed that the decision will undermine the work of various organizations helping those most vulnerable, particularly women and girls, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reported order of the de facto Taliban authorities banning women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations,” Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
The ban on higher education for women in Afghanistan has reportedly drawn widespread reactions from all across the globe and criticism for Taliban’s hardline policies in the country.