The UN Security Council has called on Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government to reverse policies restricting the human rights of women and girls.
The Security Council expressed “deep concern” over the Taliban’s restrictions limiting girls' access to education and women's employment, freedom of movement, and “full, equal, and meaningful participation in public life."
The restrictions on women and girls “contradict the expectations of the international community and the commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people,” the council said in a statement approved on May 24 by all 15 members.
After returning to power in August, the Taliban promised to allow women to continue their education and work outside the home and said there would be no dress code.
But in recent weeks, the Taliban has imposed restrictions reminiscent of when it first held power in Afghanistan from 1996-2001.
Earlier this month, it ordered all women in public to wear head-to-toe clothing that leaves only their eyes visible and said male relatives would face punishment for women’s dress-code violations.
Earlier this year, girls were barred from attending school after the sixth grade. Women also are restricted from venturing more than 72 kilometers from their homes without a male relative.
The Security Council statement called for the Taliban to “swiftly reverse” its actions and reiterated the council’s previous call “to adhere to their commitments to reopen schools for all female students without further delay.”
It also expressed concern over “the volatile situation in Afghanistan,” especially continued terrorist attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, and the cultivation and trafficking of illicit drugs, and called for strengthened efforts to address “the dire humanitarian and economic situation” in the country.