Concerns over restrictions on Afghan women, girls voiced at Doha meeting, says DiCarlo

DOHA, Qatar — Participants in the Doha meeting expressed deep concerns about the severe restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan, according to UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo.

Addressing a press conference after the two-day event, DiCarlo acknowledged the strong reactions to the absence of women and civil society representatives, emphasizing that their concerns and views were central to the United Nations.

“I am aware of the criticism regarding the third Doha meeting,” DiCarlo stated, “but the concerns and perspectives of Afghan women and civil society were at the forefront for us.”

She expressed regret that some Afghan women and civil society representatives did not participate in the meeting with special envoys, noting that a separate meeting with civil society members and women was scheduled for Tuesday. “I respect their decision not to attend, but I regret their absence as we had some exceptional individuals on our list,” she said.

DiCarlo described the Doha meetings as part of a long-term process. “This is a process. We are involved in a process now that is going to be long-term. It won’t make everyone happy, but we are committed to doing our best for the Afghan people,” she told Amu’s Omra Morid.

Participants in the meeting discussed the need for the formation of an inclusive government. “We engaged in broader discussions that reflected deep international concerns about the ongoing and serious restrictions on women and girls,” DiCarlo said.

She noted that the Taliban had raised the issue of sanctions during the meeting, but the participants did not elaborate on this topic. “The sanctions are on individuals, not on the country,” she emphasized.

The two-day third round of the Doha meeting, which began on Sunday afternoon, included envoys from around 30 countries and institutions. However, the meeting faced strong criticism from human rights defenders and women’s rights advocates for excluding human rights and women’s rights from the main agenda.