(New York, N.Y.) — Earlier this week, U.N. Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Markus Potzel met with Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban’s interior minister, to warn that the Taliban’s recently announced education and work bans on women will worsen Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, create greater economic turmoil, and further isolate Afghanistan. Haqqani and the Taliban power center of which he is a leading member, the Haqqani Network are both sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council. Although the Taliban claims the ban is temporary, the ruling group implemented a similar “temporary” measure during their first rule in the 1990s, and of which they never lifted.
To read the Counter Extremism Project (CEP)’s resource Taliban, please click here.
“The Taliban have a history of being an extremist and misogynist regime, systematically and sustainably violating human rights and freedom of speech,” said CEP Senior Director and former Coordinator of the U.N. Security Council’s ISIL (Da’esh), al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler. “In addition, the country is on the verge of economic collapse and is experiencing extreme food insecurity. The U.N. has worked to address these issues by agreeing to significant sanctions exceptions to more effectively enable humanitarian operations and the provision of basic human needs. However, the Taliban’s and Haqqani’s ideological extremism and enmity towards women is threatening these operations as the ban essentially cuts the ability to bring relief to women in Afghanistan directly. The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan remains understaffed and banning women from these operations will make the situation significantly worse. If the Taliban want to govern Afghans, they should first ensure that they are able to survive.”
Presently, the U.N. has paused several NGO operations in the country, saying they cannot attend to the country’s needs without female staff. In response, the Taliban is encouraging self-sufficiency and domestic production. The Taliban is also looking to boost trade and foreign investments with countries like Iran, Russia, and China showing interest.
To read CEP’s resource Afghanistan: Extremism & Terrorism, please click here.