The United Nations condemned the Taliban's severe restrictions on women as both human rights violations and imptediments to the delivery of humanitarian aid. The Taliban regime has prohibited women and girls from attending school, banned their employment, and forbid them from leaving their homes without a close male relative. Some UN agencies had won permission for limited numbers of women to work in aid delivery programs, but a July decree totally forbade the employment of Afghan women by humanitarian agencies outside of the health sector and has created a major obstacle in the provision of assistance to women. "Since onl women can work with women, [and] agencies that target vulnerable women must use the services of Afghan women to reach them," said Mike Sackett, Acting UN
Coordinator for Afghanistan.
Declaring the plight of Afghans, and in particular Afghan women, a major humanitarian concern, the United Nations this week issued a $229 million appeal for humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.
Within the next week, the United Nations Security Council will consider an arms embargo on the Taliban. The embargo would pressure Pakistan to halt the flow of arms to the Taliban regime.
Media Resources: NNI - November 30, 2000; AP - November 30, 2000; Washington Post - November 29, 2000