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UN: Afghanistan is world’s most repressive nation for girls

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ISLAMABAD — Because the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the nation has change into essentially the most repressive on the earth for girls and women, disadvantaged of nearly all their fundamental rights, the United Nations mentioned in grim assessments on Worldwide Ladies’s Day.

The U.N. Mission mentioned in a press release Wednesday that Afghanistan’s new rulers have proven an nearly “singular concentrate on imposing guidelines that depart most ladies and women successfully trapped of their properties.”

Regardless of preliminary guarantees of a extra average stance, the Taliban have imposed harsh measures since seizing energy as U.S. and NATO forces have been within the ultimate weeks of their pullout from Afghanistan after 20 years of warfare.

Ladies are banned from schooling past sixth grade and ladies are barred from working, finding out, touring and not using a male companion, and even going to parks or tub homes. Ladies should additionally cowl themselves from head to toe and are barred from working at nationwide and worldwide non-governmental organizations, disrupting the supply of humanitarian help.

“Afghanistan beneath the Taliban stays essentially the most repressive nation on the earth concerning girls’s rights,” Roza Otunbayeva, particular consultant of the U.N. secretary-general and head of the U.N. political mission in Afghanistan, mentioned in a press release.

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She later advised the U.N. Safety Council in New York that “the Taliban declare to have united the nation, however they’ve additionally severely divided it by gender.” The Taliban inform the U.N. “that this gender segregation just isn’t a big subject and is being addressed” and “they are saying they need to be judged on different achievements,” she mentioned.

At a time when Afghanistan must get well from many years of warfare, Otunbayeva mentioned, “half of the nation’s potential docs, scientists, journalists, and politicians are shut away of their properties, their desires crushed and their skills confiscated.”

“It has been distressing to witness their methodical, deliberate, and systematic efforts to push Afghan girls and women out of the general public sphere,” she added.

The restrictions, particularly the bans on schooling and NGO work, have drawn fierce worldwide condemnation. However the Taliban have proven no indicators of backing down, claiming the bans are momentary suspensions in place allegedly as a result of girls weren’t sporting the Islamic scarf, or hijab, appropriately and since gender segregation guidelines weren’t being adopted.

As for the ban on college schooling, the Taliban authorities has mentioned that among the topics being taught weren’t consistent with Afghan and Islamic values.

“Confining half of the nation’s inhabitants to their properties in one of many world’s largest humanitarian and financial crises is a colossal act of nationwide self-harm,” Otunbayeva mentioned.

“It’s going to condemn not solely girls and women, however all Afghans, to poverty and aid-dependency for generations to return,” she warned. “It’s going to additional isolate Afghanistan from its personal residents and from the remainder of the world.”

At a carpet manufacturing unit in Kabul, girls who have been former authorities staff or highschool and college college students now spend their days weaving carpets.

“All of us dwell like prisoners, we really feel that we’re caught in a cage,” mentioned Hafiza, 22, who goes solely by her first identify and who was once a first-year regulation pupil earlier than the Taliban banned girls from attending courses at her college. “The worst state of affairs is when your desires are shattered, and you’re punished for being a girl.”

One other employee on the manufacturing unit, 18-years-old Shahida, who additionally makes use of just one identify, mentioned she was in tenth grade at one among Kabul excessive colleges when her schooling was lower quick.

“We simply demand from the (Taliban) authorities to reopen colleges and academic facilities for us and provides us our rights,” she mentioned.

An Afghan girls’s rights campaigner, Zubaida Akbar, advised the Safety Council that because the Taliban seized energy “the rights of Afghan girls and women have been decimated by way of over 40 decrees.”

“The Taliban have sought not solely to erase girls from public life, however to extinguish our fundamental humanity,” mentioned Zubaida, who spoke on behalf of the rights group Freedom Now that offers with 20 largely women-led grassroots actions inside Afghanistan. “There may be one time period that appropriately describes the state of affairs of Afghan girl right this moment — gender apartheid.”

Alison Davidian, the particular consultant for UN Ladies in Afghanistan, mentioned: “The implications of the hurt the Taliban are inflicting on their very own residents goes past girls and women.”

No officers from the Taliban-led authorities have been accessible for remark.

On the Safety Council, the U.N.’s Otunbayeva mentioned there’s a faction within the Taliban that doesn’t agree with the crackdown on girls and women and understands that spotlight have to be paid to the true wants of all Afghans.

“Maybe it will probably ultimately execute a change of path,” she mentioned. “However time is working quick. World crises are multiplying. Calls for on donor assets are multiplying as the supply of these assets diminishes.”

Forward of Wednesday’s observances of Worldwide Ladies’s Day, about 200 Afghan feminine small enterprise homeowners put collectively an exhibition of their merchandise in Kabul. Most complained of dropping enterprise because the Taliban takeover.

“I don’t count on Taliban to respect girls’s rights,” mentioned one among them, Tamkin Rahimi. “Ladies right here can’t follow (their) rights and have fun Ladies’s Day, as a result of we can’t go to high school, college or go to work, so I believe we don’t have any day to have fun.”

Ten of the 15 Safety Council members issued a joint assertion demanding that the Taliban instantly reverse all its oppressive measures in opposition to girls and women.

“Restoration in Afghanistan can’t occur with out girls’s full, equal and significant participation in all points of political, financial and social life,” mentioned the assertion by Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. ___

Related Press author Edith M. Lederer on the United Nations contributed to this report.


This model has been corrected to indicate the day was Wednesday.

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