UN urges Afghan workers to stay home after Taliban bans women from working in organization

(CNN) The United Nations said it was forced to make a “terrible choice” after advising all of its staff in Afghanistan to stay away from offices in the country. The Taliban Ban on female Afghan aid workers

“UN national staff — women and men — have been instructed not to report to UN offices, with limited and measured exceptions for critical assignments,” the organization said in a statement.

It comes after the Afghan men worked for the UN in Kabul He was at home last week In solidarity with their female colleagues.

The UN said the Taliban’s move was an extension of an earlier ban imposed last December that barred Afghan women from working in national and international non-governmental organizations.

The mandate forces the UN “to make a terrible choice between being supportive of the Afghan people and delivering, and standing by the obligations and norms and principles that we must uphold,” the organization said in a statement on Tuesday.

It added, “The ban is the latest in a series of discriminatory measures implemented by Taliban regime officials aimed at severely restricting the participation of women and girls in most areas of public and daily life in Afghanistan.”

The UN will “assess the scope, parameters and effects of the embargo and suspend the prohibited activities,” the statement said, adding that “the matter will continue to be reviewed.”

Since the Taliban seized power in 2021, many female UN staff in the country have already experienced restrictions on their movement, including harassment and detention.

Ramis Alakbarov, the UN’s deputy special representative, resident and humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan, called the Taliban’s decision an “unparalleled human rights violation” last week.

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“Afghan women’s lives are at risk,” she said, “and it is impossible to reach women without women.”

UN The UN said last week that the secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, Rosa Otunbayeva, was engaging with the Taliban at the highest level to “immediately reverse this order”.

“In the history of the United Nations, no other regime has tried to ban women from working at the organization. This decision represents an attack on women, on the fundamental principles of the UN and on international law.” Otunbayeva said.

Other figures within the organization also condemned the move, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calling it “utterly despicable”.

After the Taliban banned female aid workers in December, at least half a dozen major foreign aid groups temporarily suspended their operations in Afghanistan — reducing already scarce resources to a country that desperately needs them.

The Taliban’s return to power comes ahead of a deepening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, worsening problems that have long plagued the country. After the takeover, the United States and its allies froze about $7 billion of the country’s foreign reserves and cut off international financing — crippling an economy heavily dependent on foreign aid.

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