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don’t let Taliban in -Breaking


© Reuters. From left to right: Asila Wardak (former Afghan diplomat), Fawzia Koofi (former Afghan peace negotiator), Anisa Shaheed (former Afghan journalist), and Naheed Fareed (former Afghan politician) speak with reporters in New York outside of the U.N. Security Council.

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS – During a visit at United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday, a group of Afghan women urged them to stop the Taliban from gaining a spot at the international body.

Fawzia Koofi, a former Afghan peace negotiator and politician said that it was very easy. She spoke to reporters at the UN Security Council meeting in New York. “The UN must give this seat to someone who is respectful of the rights and interests of all Afghans.”

She said that Afghan women are often talked about but not heard. The world needs to use all the leverage available to ensure inclusion and respect for women’s rights.

Koofi was joined at the event by Naheed Fareed (former politician), Asila Wardak (former diplomat) and Anisa Shaheed, journalist.

Fareed stated, “When Taliban invade Afghanistan, they promised that women would be allowed to return to their work, and that permission will be granted to them to teach again.”

Taliban leaders pledged to uphold women’s rights according to Islamic law since they took power in August. From 1996 to 2001 under Taliban rule, women couldn’t work or go to school. When they went out on their own, women had to cover up and accompany a man relative.

There are competing claims by the United Nations regarding who should represent Afghanistan. While the Taliban have nominated Suhail Shaheen, their Doha-based spokesperson, as UN ambassadors for Afghanistan and Ghulam Isaczai (UN envoy representing the Taliban government) is asking to stay in the country’s seat.

The UN member countries are expected to take a decision before the end of this year.

Wardak asked countries to put pressure on the Taliban in order to make women’s rights rights a priority. She added that conditions should be met if they are going to take a seat.

Before speaking to journalists, the women addressed a UN conference on Afghan girls and women, which was organized by Canada, Britain, Qatar, Canada, UN Women and Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council also met in a separate session to address women and security.

Isaczai stated to the fifteen-member council that “Women in Afghanistan have pinned their hopes and dreams upon this exact council and world body for help to recover their rights to work travel and go school.” It would be morally unacceptable to do nothing or let them down.

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