KABUL: The Taliban’s unwillingness to allow Afghan women to work for the UN is forcing the world body to make a “appalling choice” about whether to continue its mission in Afghanistan, the UN said on Tuesday as it initiated an operational review.

Last Monday, the UN announced that it had received information of the limits from the Taliban government.

“Through this ban, the Taliban de facto authorities seek to force the UN to make an appalling choice between staying and delivering in support of the Afghan people and upholding the norms and principles we are duty-bound to uphold,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said on Tuesday.

“It should be clear that any negative consequences of this crisis for the Afghan people will be the de facto authorities’ responsibility.”

Taliban officials did not immediately react to Arab News’ request for comment.

In response to the prohibition notification, the UN has initiated a review of its operations in the country, which will last until May 5. It has instructed 3,000 Afghan employees, both men and women, not to report to work until it has completed “necessary consultations,” made necessary revisions, and expedited contingency planning.

Since reclaiming control of the country in 2021, the Taliban has implemented a number of restrictions on the rights of Afghan women and children, including a ban on education beyond the sixth grade. Women are also prohibited from working, learning, or traveling without the company of a male partner.

The ban on female UN employees is an extension of limitations issued in December that barred most women from working for nonprofit organizations, sparking widespread international condemnation.

According to Ramzia Sayedi, a women’s rights activist in Kabul, the global uproar against the Taliban’s acts is ineffective.

“Since they took control of the country, the Taliban has been attempting to isolate Afghan women,” she told Arab News.

“Such condemnation will not resolve Afghan women’s issues because the Taliban do not regard themselves as responsible to women in the country and are not committed to women’s rights.”




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