Statement by UN members calls for ‘immediate reversal’ of Taliban edicts targeting women, girls

The United Arab Emirates delivered a resolute joint statement at the United Nations General Assembly, addressing the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, speaking on behalf of 80 co-sponsors, which included countries such as Australia, Japan, and the European Union.

The statement condemned the edicts imposed by the Taliban, asserting that these edicts flagrantly contradict both Islamic values and universal human rights.

In unison, the participating nations called upon the Taliban to take immediate and decisive action to reverse these oppressive edicts, which infringe upon the human rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls. The contributions of women are deemed indispensable for the social and economic progress of Afghan society.

Expressing deep alarm, the co-sponsors labeled the Taliban’s edicts as the most severe and systematic form of discrimination and oppression against women and girls worldwide. These edicts have deprived them of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, including access to education, employment, and full, equal, and meaningful participation in public life. As a result, women are being stripped of their livelihoods, and girls are having their futures compromised.

Furthermore, concerns were raised that the drastic restrictions imposed on the human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan may amount to gender persecution, a matter of international concern.

The Taliban was strongly urged to immediately reverse its policies, practices, decrees, and other pronouncements that undermine the human rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls. These actions were decried as incompatible with the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination.

The joint statement emphasized that these arbitrary decisions and edicts exacerbate the risk of gender-based violence and compound the already dire economic crisis. The restrictions also strain the healthcare system, denying women and girls access to critical and routine health services, including mental and prenatal health services.

In closing, the co-sponsors called upon the Taliban to uphold, protect, and fulfill the human rights of women and girls as outlined in international agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the state of Afghanistan is a party.

They reaffirmed their commitment to protecting human rights and upholding the principles of religion or belief, reinforcing their unwavering stance on safeguarding the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.