UN Women chief calls for inclusion of women in new Afghan Government

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UN Women chief Pramila Patten on Tuesday called on the Taliban leadership to include women in the upcoming governance structure.

“I take note of the public commitments made by the Taliban’s spokesperson to uphold women’s rights ‘within the framework of Islam,’ including women’s right to work, to pursue higher education and to have an active role in society, as well as the right of girls to attend school. The immediate inclusion of women in the governance structure of the new leadership in Afghanistan will be the ultimate litmus test for the Taliban,” said Patten in a statement.

The full and complete development of Afghanistan and the cause of peace require the equal and meaningful participation of women in all fields, including public and political life. Women’s full participation is essential not only for their empowerment but also for the advancement of society as a whole. The Taliban leadership must take bold steps to fully include women in decision-making at all levels, both nationally and internationally, so that they may continue to make their contribution to the goals of equality, development and peace, she said.

Patten called on the international community to sustain its attention and action to ensure women’s rights are non-negotiable, citing Monday’s UN Security Council resolution, which reaffirms the importance of upholding human rights, including the rights of women, and encouraging all parties to seek an inclusive, negotiated political settlement that ensures the full, equal and meaningful representation of women.

“Afghan women’s rights activists have fought for their rights and have made considerable progress. These hard-won gains cannot be reversed or rolled back,” she said. “Urgent action is needed now to ensure the full participation of women in the public and political life of Afghanistan.”

UN Women is the world body’s major agency for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Enditem

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