UN to hold closed-door meeting with Taliban to discuss ban on women NGO workers
The United Nations Security Council will hold a private meeting with the Taliban next week. The agenda of this meeting as per reports is to hold talks over the Afghanistan rulers' decision to ban female humanitarian workers.
The closed-door meeting as per Reuters was requested by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Japan, with the former floating their request via a tweet.
As per a UN report 97 per cent of Afghans live in poverty, two-thirds of them depend on aid for survival and around 20 million face acute hunger. In the deeply conservative and patriarchal Afghan society, it is frowned upon for a woman to talk to a man outside her immediate family. Because of this, the role women play is instrumental towards addressing one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
Talking to AFP, a senior official of a foreign NGO remarked, "The Taliban have pushed us against a wall," adding that the group tells them, "'If you choose to leave instead of obeying our rules, then the (humanitarian) situation will only worsen'".
Ban on women working in NGOs came after another crushing ban on their education. The US on Thursday said that Washington, along with "like-minded partners around the world", is working to appropriately condemn the Taliban for the "outrageous edict".
Talking to the press during his daily press briefing, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that these "appropriate set of consequences", would register their "condemnation for this outrageous edict on the part of the Taliban, while also protecting our (US') status as the world's leading humanitarian provider for the people of Afghanistan."