UN officials raise concern on situation of women in Afghanistan


As Afghan women continue to remain deprived of their basic rights, United Nations officials have once again raised concerns about the situation of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. During a meeting titled “Women, Youth Must Have Greater Participation in Peacebuilding Efforts” that took place in New York, the UN officials the rights of Afghan women, especially the prohibition of girls from attending universities and secondary schools, TOLOnews reported.

UN’s Undersecretary-general for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo characterised the state of women in Afghanistan as a lost cause. “Ultimately, it comes down to a simple vision — of overcoming obstacles that deny the full contribution of women,” DiCarlo said at the meeting. Moreover, Sima Bahous, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), while stating the figures said, “1.1 million girls are without schooling since the 2021 ban in Afghanistan.”

More than two and a half years have passed, but the Taliban has yet to make any new statements regarding the reopening of schools for girls above sixth grade. As the Taliban solidifies its control over Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis in the country continue to worsen. Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, emphasized the importance of engaging with current Afghan officials while also stressing the need to “ensure the rights of women and girls” in Afghanistan.


“We continue on the same path in terms of Afghanistan which is engaging with the de facto authorities, because they are the de facto authorities in Afghanistan. We also continue to push them constantly and continuously on the issue of the rights of women and girls which are their rights to have which are being denied on a daily basis almost across the border,” he said at the meeting, according to TOLOnews.

However, despite international outcry, the Taliban has not made any concrete decision on when the schools will be opened for girls in the country Time and again, the Taliban has reiterated that women’s rights in Afghanistan are ensured within the framework of Islamic law. The spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate, Zabihullah Mujahid, said: “Men and women in Afghanistan have rights, and the Islamic Emirate is committed to providing those rights as endorsed by Islamic law. The Islamic Emirate strives to address the rights of all citizens of the country,” according to TOLOnews report.

Afghanistan’s delegate at the UN Human Rights Council, meanwhile, highlighted the nation’s efforts to achieve gender equality and demanded the lifting of limitations on women and girls. With infrastructure crumbling and essential services disrupted, millions are at risk of starvation and diseases in Afghanistan as the nation remains under a humanitarian crisis. Humanitarian organisations struggle to provide aid amidst security concerns and logistical challenges. The ban on girls’ schools since the Taliban takeover has led to a generation of girls deprived of education, perpetuating cycles of poverty and inequality.