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    UN Security Council Expresses ‘Deep Concern’ Over Restrictions in Afghanistan

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    UN Security Council Expresses ‘Deep Concern’ Over Restrictions in Afghanistan

    The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of efforts by the international community to support Afghanistan, including on education.

    In a statement released to the press, the United Nations Security Council said it is deeply concerned over the decision by Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government to deny girls above the sixth grade access to education in Afghanistan.

    The Security Council members reaffirmed the right to education for all Afghans, including girls, and called on the Taliban to respect the right to education and adhere to their commitments to reopen schools for all female students without further delay.

    Earlier, Taliban officials had indefinitely extended the school off days for girls studying beyond the sixth grade. The schools were closed since the Taliban had taken control over the country on 15 August last year.

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    Subsequently, the US called off its meetings with the Taliban in Doha on March 25. That meeting was called to address key economic issues.

    The Security Council members requested the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to continue to engage with all relevant Afghan political actors and stakeholders, including relevant authorities, on this issue, according to the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and keep the Security Council informed on progress.

    The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of efforts by the international community to support Afghanistan, including on education, and highlighted the coordinating role of UNAMA in this regard.

    Undeterred

    The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the people of Afghanistan, as well as their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan.

    But the Taliban have gone ahead with imposing their gender segregating rules. On Sunday, they announced a fresh set of restrictions on the use of public parks by women in the company of men. Visiting days for women keen to go to parks have been announced, restricting men’s access to the parks on the days meant for women.

    According to an order of the Taliban’s Ministry For the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, all public spaces in the nation’s capital city, Kabul, would be opened to women and girls from Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Men and boys could access the places Wednesdays through Saturdays.

    Earlier, the Taliban had mandated that women could only travel in women-designated transport vehicles. This inconvenienced many working women and it has been feared that it will impose economic hardships since the women find their movements curtailed. This is particularly worrisome for women headed households.

    Simultaneously, reports trickling out of Kabul have hinted that officials at the city’s airport have been told not to allow women and girls to fly unless they are accompanied by a man – and, for the purpose, the authorities must be sure that the man is a relative.

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