(CNN) A senior United Nations official said Afghan men who work for the United Nations in Kabul will stay home in solidarity with their female colleagues after the Taliban banned Afghan women from working for the world body.
Ramiz Alekperov, the UN deputy special representative, resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan, called the Taliban’s decision an “unparalleled violation of human rights”.
“Afghan women’s lives are in danger,” he said, adding that “you can’t reach women without women.”
He added that the international staff of the United Nations in Afghanistan will remain in their positions.
On Wednesday, the United Nations said the Taliban had informed it that Afghan women were no longer allowed to work for the United Nations in Afghanistan and that the measure would be actively implemented.
The United Nations condemned the decision, calling the ban “illegal under international law”.
Many female UN staff members in the country have already suffered restrictions on their movements since the Taliban seized power in 2021, including harassment and detention – prompting the UN to order all its staff of Afghan nationality, of all genders, not to go to the office. The statement said until further notice.
The statement added that the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Rosa Otunbayeva, is communicating with the Taliban at the highest levels in order to “seek an immediate rollback of the regime.”
The United Nations said the Taliban’s move was an extension of an earlier ban, imposed last December, Preventing Afghan women from working in national and international NGOs.
“In the history of the United Nations, no other regime has ever attempted to prevent women from working in the organization simply because they are women. This decision represents an assault on women, the fundamental principles of the United Nations, and international law,” Otunbayeva said.
Other figures within the organization also condemned the move, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights describing it as “absolutely despicable”.
After the Taliban Prohibited aid workers In December, at least half a dozen major foreign aid groups temporarily suspended operations in Afghanistan – reducing the scarce resources already available to a country in dire need.
The Taliban’s return to power was preceded by a deepening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, exacerbating issues that have long plagued the country. After the takeover, the United States and its allies froze about $7 billion in the country’s foreign reserves and cut international financing – crippling an economy that relied heavily on foreign aid.
More than 28 million people in Afghanistan – about two-thirds of the population – need humanitarian aid, the United Nations estimated in March. She added that many families face “catastrophic hunger” and the risk of starvation, as food stocks run out months before the next harvest.
Since the return of the Taliban to power, they have imposed a Brutal suppression of women’s rights and freedomsprevent women from Work in most sectorsor entering certain public places such as parks or unguarded travel long distances and other daily restrictions. Last December, it is Preventing women from attending universityNine months after the girls were banned from returning to high school.
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