According to a senior UN official, Afghan men who work for the United Nations at Kabul will remain home out of solidarity with their female counterparts after the Taliban banned Afghan women from working in the global organization.
Ramiz Alakbarov is the UN's Deputy Special Representative and Resident Coordinator for Afghanistan. He called the Taliban's action an "unparalleled human rights violation."
He said that 'the lives of Afghan women are at risk', and added, "It is impossible to reach women without the women."
He added that the international UN staff will remain in Afghanistan.
The UN announced on Wednesday that it was notified by Taliban that Afghan women are no longer allowed to work for UN in Afghanistan. This measure will be enforced.
The UN condemned this decision and called it 'unlawful in international law'
The UN statement said that several female UN staff had experienced restrictions in their movement since the Taliban took power in 2021. This included harassment and detention.
Roza Otunbayeva is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. She engages with the Taliban on the highest levels to ‘seek an urgent reversal’ of the order.
The UN stated that the Taliban's action was a continuation of an earlier ban, which was enforced in December last year, and prohibited Afghan women working for non-governmental national or international organizations.
In the history of the United Nations no other regime ever attempted to bar women from working in the Organization because they were women. Otunbayeva stated that this decision is an attack on women, UN principles, and international law.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called the act 'utterly deplorable'.
Following the Taliban's December ban on female aid workers, more than half a dozen foreign aid groups temporarily halted their operations in Afghanistan. This reduced the resources already available to Afghanistan.
The Taliban's return was preceded by a worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. This exacerbated issues that have long plagued this country. The US and its allies frozen about $7 billion in the country's reserves of foreign currency and cut off funding from abroad after the takeover. This crippled an economy that was heavily dependent on international aid.
UN estimates that in March, more than 28 million Afghans - or two thirds - require humanitarian assistance. The UN also stated that many families face 'catastrophic' hunger and are at risk of famine because food stocks have run out months before harvest time.
Since the Taliban retook power, they have implemented a brutal crackdown against women's freedoms and rights. They prohibit women from working in many sectors, gaining access to some public places like parks, traveling long distances without a guardian, and other daily restrictions. In December last year, the Taliban banned women from going to university. This was nine months after they had barred girls from returning back to secondary school.