What happened? A number of Taliban officials during a meeting with Amina Mohammed, Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, said that this group is trying to create a solution in order to make sure women can get back to work and education based on Sharia rules.
- Amina Mohammed, UNSG’s deputy travelled to Kabul on January 17 and met with a number of Taliban’s senior officials to discuss lifting restrictions on women as well as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
- Taliban’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation in a statement said that Khalil ur Rahman Haqqani, Taliban’s acting minister of this ministry, during the meeting with Amina Mohammed said that this group is not against women’s education and them working, but because Afghanistan is a traditional society, it’s culture should be understood.
- In this meeting, Haqqani said that “depriving all women from assistance is not justifiable on the pretext of a few women being unemployed”.
- In the statemen by the Taliban’s ministry, Amina Mohammed has been quoted as saying that “restricting women from work and education doesn’t have good consequences for Afghans and without education, the society will be go backwards”.
- While the Taliban believe that the ban on work and education of Afghan women is justified, the issue has caused serious concerns for international humanitarian organisations.
- Following Taliban’s heavy restrictions on women’s work and education, several humanitarian organizations had announced that they cannot continue their assistance work for the people of Afghanistan due to this restriction.
- Apart from Haqqani, Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Muttaqi and former Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, had also met with Amina Mohammed. In the meeting, Karzai too had emphasised on the right to education and work for Afghan women and urged for a national dialogue to ensure peace and stability in the country.
Back story: The Taliban announced the ban on women working for non-governmental groups (NGOs) at the end of last year, in a series of measures rolling back women’s rights.
- The decision prompted major international aid agencies to suspend operations in the country and raised fears that people will be deprived of food, education, healthcare, and other critical services.
- Also, the Taliban on December 20 had issued a new decree saying that girls are not allowed into universities and higher education institutions. The Taliban’s recent order has drew widespread criticism both domestic and foreign.
Zoom out: The United Nations had announced that a high-ranking UN delegation had arrived in Kabul on Tuesday.
- The delegation consists of Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General; Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, and Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs.
- According to the UN, the delegation has so far travelled to several neighbouring countries, including the Gulf countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
- Senior representatives of the United Nations have met with some Afghan women in Ankara and Islamabad, representatives of the Taliban in Doha, the leadership of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and representatives of the Islamic Development Bank.
- The UN stressed that it is important to find an immediate solution to the Afghan crisis.