International Women’s Day, UN Discusses Women’s Rights, but Does Not Produce Real Action
At the UN meeting on Wednesday (8/3), to commemorate International Women’s Day, there was a lot of talk but no real action to promote and protect women’s rights.
A UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan offered verbal support to women in the country, which became one of the world’s most oppressed groups under the Taliban rule. But no new action has yet been offered to pressure the Taliban to rescind more than 30 decrees barring women from engaging in public life since they came to power in August 2021.
“Outspoken international condemnation is essential, but it is not sufficient,” female Afghan activist Zubaida Akbar of Freedom Now told members of the Security Council.
He urged the Council to take meaningful action, including not granting exemptions from the international travel ban that would allow Taliban leaders to go abroad for meetings while Afghan women remain stuck in their homes or require a male companion for travel.
“If you don’t stand up for women’s rights here, you don’t have the credibility to do it anywhere else,” Akbar warned the Security Council.
Elsewhere, Pakistan is hosting a conference on “Women in Islam: Understanding Women’s Rights and Identity in the Islamic World”, which aims to highlight the achievements of Muslim women and dispel some stereotypes.
The conference offered solidarity and called for concrete actions but nothing was achieved.
VOA asked Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a brief press conference why no concrete action had been taken.
“I recognize the frustration that arises,” she said, “but the point is that our job at the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is to hold meetings and highlight the role of women, and especially for us in the Islamic context.” [my/lt/rs]