The Taliban has not been maintaining its promises with respect to women’s and girls’ rights, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.
Guterres said that following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August, the group has “at various times” vowed to maintain the rights of women, children, and minority communities as he urged the country’s new hardline rulers to fulfill their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.
“Central to those promises was the possibility of women to move, to work, and to enjoy their basic rights — and for girls to have effective access to all levels of education, the same as boys,” he told reporters at the UN’s New York headquarters.
“I am particularly alarmed to see promises made to Afghan women and girls by the Taliban being broken. Broken promises lead to broken dreams for the women and girls of Afghanistan,” he added, further maintaining that Afghanistan’s women and girls “need to be the center of attention.”
The UN chief further called on the international community to provide Afghanistan with badly-needed liquidity to prevent the nation from falling into full-scale collapse. He maintained, however, that ultimately the responsibility for “finding a way back from the abyss lies with” the Taliban.
The comments come as Afghanistan faces an economic crisis in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover that is affecting half of the country’s population, or about 18 million people.
Guterres said 80% of Afghanistan’s economy is informal with women playing “a preponderant role” there.