UN condemns Taliban restrictions on women

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Thursday condemning the Taliban for banning women from working for the United Nations in Afghanistan. It called on the Taliban to quickly reverse its restrictions on women's freedoms.

The Taliban put the ban in place in early April. The UN says multiple female staff members in the country have been harassed or detained.

Last December, the Taliban prohibited women from working for humanitarian aid groups, hindering the provision of assistance to those in need.

The UN resolution was drafted by Japan and the United Arab Emirates, and was co-sponsored by about 90 countries.

It condemns the Taliban's restrictions, calling them unprecedented in the history of the United Nations. It seeks the immediate reversal of policies and practices taking away women's basic human rights and freedoms.

UN Security Council unanimously approves resolution.

The Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution despite China's and Russia's repeated rebukes of the West's stance towards the Taliban. The two countries have insisted that sanctions on Afghanistan be lifted to aid humanitarian assistance.

Women in Afghanistan losing freedoms

Women and girls in Afghanistan have been facing an increasingly severe situation since the Taliban regained power in August, 2021.

A year after the Taliban returned to power.

The group has imposed various restrictions on women in line with its strict interpretation of Islamic law. These include a dress code that forces women to cover their faces in front of men. The measure even applies to mannequins in clothing stores.

The Taliban required shops to cover the heads of female mannequins.

Afghan women and girls have also been deprived of job opportunities and even education. The Taliban initially allowed women to enroll in universities but eventually reversed course. They also banned girls from attending secondary schools.

Women prevented from joining university now must learn at home.

Representative to the UN sees unique role for Japan

Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN Ishikane Kimihiro spoke to NHK after the resolution was adopted.
He called the situation in Afghanistan extremely serious, saying women are being prevented from playing an active role in society while people are being denied needed aid.

Ishikane Kimihito, Permanent Representative of Japan to the UN.

Ishikane said the resolution was needed as it's important for the Security Council to make its position clear.

He added that although each country has its own stance regarding Afghanistan, they were able to find common ground and adopt the resolution.

He also touched on Japan's role going forward, saying the country is in a position to interact and communicate with various players in Afghanistan. He hopes to use this position to improve the situation in line with the stance laid out in the UN resolution.