The latest: Amnesty International has said that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted a resolution condemning the ban on women working for the organization in the right direction, but has failed to restore the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
- It stated that the UN Security Council resolution must be backed up by concerted action to restore the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
- Responding to the unanimous adoption of the resolution at the UN Security Council, Joyce Bukuru, Senior Advocate at Amnesty International, said, “The Security Council resolution has been adopted in the midst of a relentless assault on the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. It is imperative that the Taliban abide by the resolution, immediately reverse the bans and restrictions on the rights of women and girls including the rights to work and education and release all those detained for protesting or speaking out against the same.”
- The global rights organization stressed that the resolution failed to include the need to hold accountable those responsible for the systematic violation of rights.
- It emphasized that the resolution also fell short of setting out concrete steps the members of the Security Council should take to support ongoing efforts to restore the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan and keep the Taliban as de facto authorities accountable for their grave and systematic violations of women and girls rights.
- ‘’Afghanistan is bound by obligations under international human rights law, yet every effort has thus far failed to stop the Taliban’s abuses. This resolution must be accompanied by maximum international pressure that sends a clear message to the Taliban that the rights of women and girls are not up for negotiation – they are universal and inalienable,” it stated.
Meanwhile in another reaction Linda Thomas Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has said that the Taliban hindered the work and education of Afghan women and girls in violation of their commitments to the international community.
- Even though she welcomed the UNSC resolution, she stated that the world demands the swift abolition of Taliban’s indefensible mandates.
- Greenfield believes that the ban on girls and women is “outrageous” and that the rulings prevent Afghanistan from achieving stability, economic prosperity and future growth.
- The U.S. envoy has made clear that the Taliban are putting women and girls at increased risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and preventing life-saving humanitarian aid from reaching desperately needed Afghans.
However, take note that despite his country’s vote in favour of the resolution, Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzia criticized the text, saying it did not go far enough, blaming the West.
- “We seriously regret and are disappointed that steps and a more ambitious approach and texts were blocked by Western colleagues,” he said.
- “If you’re so sincere, why not return the assets you’ve stolen from the country and without any preconditions,” he said, referencing the $7 billion in Afghan central bank assets frozen by the United States after the Taliban took over the country in 2021.
Zoom out: On Thursday, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution calling on Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to swiftly reverse their increasingly harsh restrictions on women and girls, which range from very severely restricting education to banning women from most jobs, public spaces and gyms.
- The council condemned the Taliban’s ban on women working for the UN a decision the resolution calls “unprecedented in the history of the United Nations.”
- The unanimous 15-0 vote, with the United States, Russia and China all in favour, was a sign of the widespread global concerns over the Taliban’s actions.
- The Security Council never considered sanctions against the Taliban but the strong rebuke by the UN’s most powerful body is a blow to the prestige of Afghanistan’s rulers, who are trying get credibility on the global stage – including formal recognition by the United Nations as Afghanistan’s legitimate government.
- The resolution, co-sponsored by the United Arab Emirates and Japan, expresses “deep concern at the increasing erosion of respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban” and reaffirms their “indispensable role” in Afghan society.
- It calls on the Taliban to swiftly restore their access to education, employment, freedom of movement and equal participation in public life. And it urges all other UN member nations to use their influence to promote “an urgent reversal” of the Taliban’s policies and practices toward women and girls.
- UAE Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said over 90 countries from around the world co-sponsored the resolution including many Muslim nations and some from Afghanistan’s neighbourhood “which makes our fundamental message today even more significant: the world will not sit by silently as women in Afghanistan are erased from society.”