UN Mission Calls Afghan Women World’s Most Depressed
UN Mission Calls Afghan Women World’s Most Depressed. PHOTO/Reuters
KABUL – Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban is the “most repressive country in the world” for women’s rights. The authorities have effectively trapped women and girls in their homes, the UN said Wednesday (8/3/2023).
About 20 women held a rare demonstration on the streets of Kabul on Wednesday. They called on the international community to protect Afghans. The Taliban government adheres to a strict interpretation of Islam and has imposed numerous restrictions on girls and women since seizing power in August 2021.
“It is heartbreaking to witness their methodical, deliberate and systematic efforts to push Afghan women and girls out of the public sphere,” said Roza Otunbayeva, head of the UN Mission in Afghanistan.
The UN mission said the crackdown was a “colossal national self-defeating act” at a time when Afghanistan is facing some of the world’s largest humanitarian and economic crises.
The Taliban authorities have removed women from all but essential government jobs, or paid them a fraction of their previous wages to stay at home.
Women were also banned from going to parks, funfairs, gyms and public baths, and were ordered to cover themselves in public – ideally with a burqa.
But the biggest crackdown has been on teenage girls and university students, with authorities banning them from high schools and higher education institutions.
Some women have staged sporadic protests against the ban – risking arrest, violence and social stigma to take part – but authorities usually disperse them swiftly.
“The time has come for the United Nations to take firm and serious decisions regarding the fate of the (Afghanistan) people,” one of the protesters at the Kabul rally read from a statement.
No country has officially recognized the Taliban government as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan, with the right to education for women a sticking point in negotiations over aid and recognition.