Taliban Says Ban on Women Working for UN “Internal & Cultural” Issue; Urges Others Not to Interfere in Domestic Matters


The latest: After the publication of the statement of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which held the Taliban responsible for the humanitarian crisis in the country due to the ban on women working with this organization, this group said that the banning of women’s work is an internal and cultural issue in Afghanistan.


Go deeper:

  • Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Taliban on Wednesday, in a statement called for all parties to respect the decision of banning women from working in Afghanistan.
  • While the UNAMA has called the ban on women’s work clear discrimination by the Taliban against women, Mujahid said that the ban on women’s work is not discrimination and does not create an obstacle for the United Nations’ activities in Afghanistan.
  • Mujahid also blamed “those behind banking restrictions responsible for the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan”.
  • The Taliban statement said, “Unfortunately, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has been created and continues due to sanctions and pressures. The main responsibility lies with those who imposed restrictions on the financial and banking system of Afghanistan.”
  • The Taliban spokesperson stated that the group is committed to the rights of all Afghan citizens taking into consideration the religious and cultural values of the Taliban.
  • Afghanistan currently suffers from a dire humanitarian crisis and needs urgent life-saving assistance. The UN reiterated that most aid workers are female, and without female employees, the organization cannot function.
  • The Taliban spokesman said that given Afghanistan’s state of emergency, it is necessary for UN member states to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets as soon as possible and lift travel restrictions and other restrictions.


Why it matters? Since the return of the Taliban, several restrictions have been imposed on women, which has been called suppressive for Afghan women; by which females cannot present in public spaces, gyms, universities, schooling beyond the sixth grade and work with the international community, including UN offices.

  • The Taliban authorities called their ban on religious and cultural interests rather than restrictions on women’s rights.


Zoom out: Last week, the Taliban banned women from working with United Nations agencies in Afghanistan. This decision of the Taliban has caused widespread international reactions.

  • UNAMA in a statement on Tuesday said that it has initiated an operational review period in Afghanistan till May 5 following the Taliban’s ban on women working at UN offices.
  • During the review period, the UN in Afghanistan will, however, try to maintain principled and constructive engagement with all possible levels of the Taliban even during this review period.
  • UNAMA also in the statement had said that Taliban have forced the agency to choose between continuing humanitarian support to the Afghan people and complying with the principles of the United Nations.
  • The UN office has called the Taliban authorities responsible for all the consequences of the humanitarian situation and ordered all its employees except those limited to critical emergencies.
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