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Taliban to attend UN-led meeting in Qatar on Afghanistan

The Taliban’s Foreign Ministry announced that chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid will lead their delegation…reports Asian Lite News

Taliban on Tuesday confirmed their delegation will attend a UN-led meeting on Afghanistan in Qatar, despite organisers excluding women from the gathering. The meeting, scheduled for June 30 and July 1 in Doha, is the third UN-sponsored event on the Afghan crisis.

The Taliban were not invited to the first meeting, and the second, held in February, saw them set unacceptable conditions, such as excluding Afghan civil society members and recognizing them as the country’s legitimate rulers.

The Taliban’s Foreign Ministry announced that chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid will lead their delegation at the upcoming two-day meeting. Discussions will focus on international restrictions on Afghanistan’s financial system, private sector challenges, and actions against drug trafficking.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 as American and NATO forces withdrew after two decades of conflict. No country has officially recognized the Taliban government, largely due to bans on female education and employment. UN officials, including Roza Otunbayeva, defended the exclusion of Afghan women from the Doha meeting, asserting that women’s rights issues will be addressed.

Recently, Amnesty International urged the Taliban to reopen secondary schools for girls. It said that Afghan girls have lost their right to education due to the Taliban’s “discriminatory and unjust policies.”

Amnesty International stressed that the Taliban’s policies violate international laws. A month after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the group reopened schools that were shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they banned the girls from pursuing studies in schools above sixth class.

In 2022, the Taliban issued a decree banning women from working in aid agencies and domestic organizations. In addition, the Taliban has also imposed restrictions on their free movement, further limiting their opportunities.

Media restrictions have deteriorated the situation, making it difficult for people to stay informed regarding the developments and for the international community to understand the full extent of the crisis, as reported by Khaama Press.

Earlier in May, United Nations officials have once again raised concerns about the situation of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

During a meeting titled “Women, Youth Must Have Greater Participation in Peacebuilding Efforts” that took place in New York, the UN officials the rights of Afghan women, especially the prohibition of girls from attending universities and secondary schools, TOLO News reported.

UN’s Undersecretary-general for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo characterised the state of women in Afghanistan as a lost cause.

“Ultimately, it comes down to a simple vision — of overcoming obstacles that deny the full contribution of women,” DiCarlo said at the meeting, TOLO News reported.

Moreover, Sima Bahous, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), while stating the figures said, “1.1 million girls are without schooling since the 2021 ban in Afghanistan.”

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