UN to withdraw from Afghanistan over curbs on women: Report

New York: The UN has said it is ready to withdraw from Afghanistan in May if it cannot convince the Taliban to permit local women to work for the organization, the head of the UN Development Program said, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.

The UN is negotiating with the Taliban in hopes that it will make exceptions to a decree prohibiting local women from working for the organization. UNDP Administrator, Achin Steiner, said: “It is fair to say that where we are right now is the entire United Nations system having to take a step back and re-evaluate its ability to operate there. But it is not about negotiating fundamental principles, human rights.”

The United Nations recently expressed “serious concerns” after the Afghan female UN staff members were banned from reporting to work in the eastern province of Afghanistan, Nangarhar, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.

International organizations, including the UN, have repeatedly expressed their concerns over excluding women from the aid sector, saying that without female staff, the organizations will be unable to reach needy women.

The Taliban since it came to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, has imposed bans on women and girls, preventing them from education and employment.

The Taliban first banned girls from going to school beyond sixth grade; in December 2022, a decree prohibited Afghan women from higher education and working with national and international NGOs.

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