Many world leaders have refused to recognize the Taliban Islamist group as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Now, members of the United Nations Security Council say they are gravely concerned about "oppressive measures" the group is imposing on women.
Last month, Taliban leaders said they would ban Afghan women from working for humanitarian organizations. Those staff have supported operations in a country where, according to the UN, 97 percent of people live in poverty.
Japan's Ambassador to the UN, Ishikane Kimihiro, said, "Women are central and critical to operations to relieve the dire humanitarian situation. They have unique expertise and access to populations their male colleagues cannot reach."
Members of the Security Council discussed the issue on Friday in a closed-door meeting. US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield pushed for a resolution calling on the Taliban to reverse their bans immediately.
That includes the restriction on women and girls from attending universities and secondary schools. UN delegates have criticized the decree as "a broken promise." They say the legitimacy and support the Taliban seeks from the international community begins with the legitimacy they "earn through their actions."