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Don’t let Taliban in, Afghan women plead at United Nations

On Thursday, during a visit to the United Nations’ headquarters at New York, a group of Afghan women urged the organisation to prevent the Taliban from winning a seat and called for improved representation for their country.

Fawzia Koofi, who was a former Afghan politician and peace negotiator, told reporters outside the United Nations Security Council in New York that it was pretty simple that the United Nations should assign the seat to someone who supported the rights of all people in Afghanistan. Former politician Naheed Fareed, former diplomat Asila Wardak, and journalist Anisa Shaheed agreed with Koofi.

Fareed added that when the Taliban conquered Afghanistan, they had promised that women would be allowed to continue  with their jobs and return to school, but they did not fulfil their promises.

Taliban officials have pledged to safeguard the rights of women in accordance with sharia, the Islamic law, since gaining control in mid-August. During the last  Taliban regime, women were not allowed to work and girls were not allowed to go to school, which lasted from the year 1996 to 2001. When women left the house, they had to hide their faces and be accompanied by a male relative.

The United Nations is debating competing claims over who should represent Afghanistan. Suhail Shaheen, the  Doha-based spokesman of the Taliban, has been nominated as United Nations ambassador, while Ghulam Isaczai, the UN envoy representing the Taliban-deposed government, was trying to keep the country’s seat.

By the end of the year, United Nations member states are anticipated to make a final decision.

Wardak told the United Nations that if UN was going to give the Taliban a seat, there should be conditions which will urge the nations to put pressure on the Taliban to put their words in action on women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Before addressing the United Nations event, the women spoke to the media about their demand. Countries like Britain, Qatar, Canada and international agencies such as United Nations Women and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security were present at the event.

On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council held a special meeting to discuss women, peace, and security.

Women and girls in Afghanistan pin their hopes and ambitions on the security council of United Nations and other world organisations to help them reclaim their rights to work, travel, and attend school, Isaczai remarked while addressing the council of 15 members. To do nothing and let them down would be ethically wrong she said.


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