UN Women Leaders Delegate Taliban Meeting

UN Women Leaders Delegate Taliban Meeting

The ban on women aid workers in Afghanistan was addressed this Wednesday with “clear consensus” to change it. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed alongside Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous produced a productive conversation with Taliban officials. The impact of the discussion “stressed the need to uphold human rights, especially for women and girls” during country’s hardship.

The withdrew of U.S. troops in 2021 resulted in the regain of Taliban control. Their rule sent the country into an economic down spiral, driving the population into poverty and hunger. Historically, the country has not upheld the respect of women in society and the ban disrupts at a crucial time. A rule that affects the livelihood of women and prevents them from helping the community.

A Crucial Time

Afghanistan’s Minister of Economy Qari Din Mohammed Hanif pronounced the ban of women aid workers in a letter December 2022 because they’re not wearing their hijab properly. The letter came days later after the Taliban barred women from universities and secondary schools.

Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR) Director Fiona Gall told reporters that the Taliban “would revoke the licenses of organizations that did not comply with the ban.” Suspended operations limit vital assistance to food, hygiene, and medicines. 

Some NGOs staff more than four hundred females in the country. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated, “Women are central to humanitarian operations around the world”, following the letter. “This decision could be devastating for the Afghan people.”

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“Wednesday’s meeting had more women in the room than men, which created the uncomfortable conversation about women,” says one aid official who speculated outside the meeting room to BBC reporters. Delegations previously were constructed with men-only teams that stood by Taliban views. 

The Taliban has left room for more discussion on the ban. NGOs are ambitious that the decree will change over time, but they are content to not abandon communities. Women-led organizations are threatened due to regular visits by Taliban officials, but strategies have switched to women operating from home. 

Featured Image by Save The Children photo via Associated Press

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