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US criticises UN for operating in Afghanistan without female staff

Some US House of Representatives members have criticized the UN’s position to continue operating in Afghanistan without its female staff…reports Asian Lite News

After a month-long assessment, the United Nations (UN) announced that it would continue to operate in Afghanistan without any female staff, which has prompted criticism from US officials, Khaama Press News Agency reported.

Some US House of Representatives members have criticized the UN’s position to continue operating in Afghanistan without its female staff. They called the continuation of humanitarian aid only for men, a serious punishment for Afghan women and girls, who have been completely erased from public life, Khaama Press News Agency reported. Members of the US House of Representatives, including Michael McCaul, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of this House, have said in a letter to Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, that the organizations should not come along with the ban on women’s work in Afghanistan and emphasized that a “decisive” answer should be given.

It is also stated that the UN should continue supporting Afghan women and girls instead of compromising with the gender-based restrictions, which bares women to work for international aid organizations in Afghanistan, Khaama Press News Agency reported.

The US House of Representatives members have emphasized that the UN should oppose the idea of operating in Afghanistan without its female employees, and should avoid implementing humanitarian aid programs that solely benefit men.

Furthermore, it is stated that restrictions violate the fundamental rights of Afghan women and girls and endanger humanitarian efforts throughout Afghanistan. “The United Nations’ response to these restrictions are in contrary to the UN Charter, and will have an impact on the credibility of this organization,” the letter stated.

The United Nations on Friday said it will continue to keep Afghan staff working from home as the Taliban regime had put a ban on women working for the UN a month ago, Afghanistan-based Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

Deputy UN spokesperson Farhan Haq on Friday said there had been no change to “our posture on the ground.” Earlier, the UN had said it would review its operations and keep Afghan staff home until May 5.

The UN has 3,300 Afghan staff, of whom about 400 are female, while about 600 international staff in the country are not affected by the ban.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said that funding for aid operations remains at worryingly low levels and the ban is exacerbating this trend.

Guterres reiterated the UN’s commitment to stay and deliver on behalf of the men, women and children of Afghanistan. To achieve this efficiently and effectively, the UN needs all its personnel, women and men, to work in communities and UN offices unimpeded, the statement added. (ANI)

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