UN envoy stresses need to ensure full integration of Afghan women into society


The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan stressed the need for ensuring the full participation of Afghan women in society during a session of the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

Roza Otunbayeva recalled the second meeting of special envoys for Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar last month, saying it is “an important signal to the people of Afghanistan, and especially the women of Afghanistan, that their needs and rights are not being forgotten.”

Expressing concern over the “various negative trends” observed as part of her duty as the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Otunbayeva said “the denial of women and girls access to education and work and their removal from many aspects of public life have caused immense harm to their mental and physical health and livelihoods.”

Saying that much of the female population in Afghanistan is “afraid to move in public,” she called on the Taliban authorities to reverse restrictions on women in public and said “the longer they remain in place, the more damage will be done.”

Otunbayeva noted that “day to day security has improved for millions of people since the Taliban takeover. But this has come at an enormous cost. It is worth recalling what has been done by the international community to support the Afghan people since the collapse of the Republic.”

Recalling that “Afghanistan has been a challenge for the international community for decades, it has been the source of instability,” she commended the “relative stability that exists now” in Afghanistan and noted the importance of recognizing substantial efforts made by the Taliban to reduce opium cultivation and combating the Daesh/ISIS terror group.

She stressed that long-term sustainability in Afghanistan cannot be achieved “if the other issues I have mentioned are not addressed.”__The Nation