Afghanistan has become the most repressive country for women and girls since the Taliban took control of it, the United Nations said on Wednesday. The UN mission released a statement on International Women's Day, according to which, Afghan women are even deprived of their basic rights.
In an official statement, the UN mission said that the new Taliban leaders have demonstrated an almost singular focus on imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes, ANI reported.
Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva, UN Special Representative and head of the UN's Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, strongly condemned recent Taliban decrees that have further eroded the rights of Afghan women.
Speaking to the Security Council here, a senior UN official in Kabul said that Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the most repressive country in the world for women's rights.
"Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the most repressive country in the world regarding women's rights, and it has been distressing to witness their methodical, deliberate, and systematic efforts to push Afghan women and girls out of the public sphere," said Roza Otunbayeva.
Taliban has banned various things for Afghan women including secondary and university education, and working in national and international non-governmental organizations and have ordered women to be covered from head to toe.
The UN also noted that women have also been largely restricted from traveling outside of their homes, and have been excluded from public decision-making, as per ANI reports.
Otunbayeva said that restricting women to their homes is "one of the world's largest humanitarian and economic crises is a colossal act of national self-harm."
"Confining half of the country's population to their homes in one of the world's largest humanitarian and economic crises is a colossal act of national self-harm," she stated.
“It will condemn not only women and girls, but all Afghans, to poverty and aid-dependency for generations to come. It will further isolate Afghanistan from its own citizens and from the rest of the world," she added.
Taliban leaders have defended their restrictions on women's education, saying that the bans were temporary because women were not following the dress code or they were studying subjects like engineering and agriculture.
The UN mission to Afghanistan also said it has recorded an almost constant stream of discriminatory edicts and measures against women since the Taliban takeover -- women's right to travel or work outside the confines of their home and access to spaces is largely restricted, and they have also been excluded from all levels of public decision-making.
The UN said these restrictions have caused severe aftereffects, including more suicides, child marriage, early childbearing, poverty-related losses and a higher risk of domestic violence and sexual exploitation among women.
The report stated that around 11.6 million Afghan women and girls are in need of humanitarian assistance. However, the Taliban are further undermining the international aid effort through their ban on women working for NGOs.