Security Council to meet over ban on women working for UN in Afghanistan

A UNSC statement said the meeting was requested by Japan and the UAE after the Taliban stopped local women from working for the UN in the country.

Deputy special representative Ramiz Alakbarov says all Afghan personnel working for the UN will stay home until female staff can return to work.

Alakbarov also indicated that Otunbayeva led the UN delegation that met with Taliban officials earlier in the day and that the Taliban’s decision was an extension of its 24 December 2022 edict directing NGOs working in Afghanistan to suspend all female employees.

The security council said council members are likely to be interested in hearing Otunbayeva’s analysis of her meetings with the Taliban during Thursday’s meeting.

The Taliban’s decision comes less than a month after the security council extended UNAMA’s mandate for 12 months and requested that the Secretary-General provide the Council with an independent assessment of the international community’s approach to Afghanistan by 17 November.

It is also the latest in a series of measures implemented by the Taliban that impose increasingly severe restrictions on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls.