In an open letter to the United Nations leadership, UN Security Council, and member states, Afghan women demand that they stand “firm on their commitment” to not recognizing the Taliban as the official rulers of Afghanistan.
The Taliban took power by force on August 15, 2021, and since their return, they have systematically violated the human rights of Afghan women and girls.
The statement expresses deep “concern” at the statement issued by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, on April 17, in which she suggested that at an UN-convened conference in May, envoys for Afghanistan in Doha would be given the opportunity to “find those baby steps to put us back on the pathway to recognition” of the Taliban.
Since the Taliban takeover of the government in Afghanistan, Afghan women have repeatedly advised against any formal recognition or legitimacy to the Taliban.
In the letter, Afghan women are clear that their rights are not up for negotiations; no unconditional engagement should occur until respect for human rights and women’s rights are guaranteed on paper and in action; humanitarian aid delivery is impossible without women and Afghan women must be meaningfully consulted.
The idea of recognizing the Taliban as the official representatives of Afghanistan have shocked Afghan women. They say the Taliban grossly violated international laws, including the UN Charter, has eliminated women from public life, women and girls have no or very limited access to education and employment and have even ordered the UN that their Afghan women staff members could not continue their jobs at the UN offices in Afghanistan.
With the Taliban’s relentless attacks on Afghan women and girls, Afghan women believe any recognition of the Taliban under the current circumstances would “reward a violent group.”
Afghan women leaders remind the Deputy Secretary General and other UN officials that the same UN officials have often condemned the Taliban violations against Afghan women and girls and that walking those statements back would “undermine the UN’s credibility.” They ask the UN not to grant the Taliban a seat at the UN.
Sources: Afghan women’s letter; VoA news.