The latest UN Security Council report on life in Afghanistan was released last week. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the need for “inclusive governance,” promoting gender equality and freedom of speech, urging the Taliban to stop corporal punishment to join the global community. This comes as the Taliban faces scrutiny for their treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan.
The report highlighted various incidents documented by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). These included the killing and maiming of children, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and torture of former government officials and military members. Civilian casualties, mainly caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), were also documented. Moreover, the report expressed concern about the worsening rights of women and girls in Afghanistan:
“The recent edicts further restricting women and girls from education, access to public spaces, and employment in NGOs and the United Nations worsen the already flagrant violations of women’s rights, posing risks of violence, abuse, and negative impacts on their well-being, economy, and humanitarian services.”
According to the report, severe restrictions were imposed on Afghan female staff working for UNAMA by Afghanistan’s de facto Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Exceptions were made only for the healthcare and primary education sectors. Consequently, the UN requested both female and male employees to avoid reporting to offices unless specifically arranged.
The report indicated some improvement in Afghanistan’s security situation, with decreased armed opposition attacks, border incidents, and conflict-related security incidents compared to the previous year.
UNAMA, established in 2002, is responsible for assisting the people of Afghanistan. Regular updates are provided quarterly to ensure progress toward a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
Roza Otunbayeva, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, briefed the UN Security Council the following day, condemning the restrictions on Afghan women working for the UN. Otunbayeva affirmed that UNAMA would stand firm in not replacing female staff with male staff.
Another recent UN report found that global gender bias against women has remained unchanged over the past decade.
The way the Taliban treats people’s rights is alarming. They’ve been criticized a lot for how they treat women and girls in Afghanistan. They put restrictions on education, going out in public, and working for organizations like the United Nations.
In the past, there have been incidents where the Taliban has been noted participating in really violent activities, like killing people without a trial, arresting people for no good reason, and torturing them. It’s awful to see them not respecting human rights and the law.
Women’s rights in Afghanistan have been getting worse under the Taliban. They’re making more and more restrictions that take away women’s freedom and make them vulnerable to violence and abuse.
These incidents affect the economy too. When women aren’t allowed to work or participate fully in the workforce, it slows down economic growth and makes things harder for everyone.
Thankfully, the international community is watching closely and telling the Taliban to change their ways. This recent report from the UN Security Council showed just how serious this issue is.