Brussels 18.06.2021 This statement has been co-signed by Albania, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, European Union, Honduras, Guatemala, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Senegal, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.
“We are deeply worried about Afghan women and girls, their rights to education, work and freedom of movement. We call on those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to guarantee their protection.
“Afghan women and girls, as all Afghan people, deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. Any form of discrimination and abuse should be prevented. We in the international community stand ready to assist them with humanitarian aid and support, to ensure that their voices can be heard.
“We will monitor closely how any future government ensures rights and freedoms that have become an integral part of the life of women and girls in Afghanistan during the last twenty years”.
Meanwhile The chief of field operations of the U.N. children’s agency expressed cautious optimism about working with Taliban officials following their seizure of power in Afghanistan, citing their early expressions of support for girls’ education.
The U.N. children’s agency (UNICEF) is still delivering aid to most parts of the country and has held initial meetings with new Taliban representatives in recently seized cities like Kandahar, Herat and Jalalabad.
“We have ongoing discussions, we are quite optimistic based on those discussions,” UNICEF’s chief of field operations in Afghanistan, Mustapha Ben Messaoud, told a U.N. briefing, adding that 11 out of 13 field offices were currently operational.
“We have not a single issue with the Taliban in those field offices.”
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 following strict Islamic law, forbidding women from working. Girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes.