Taliban Adds New Restrictions on Women, Feels UN Pressure
In the face of stepped-up pressure from the United Nations (UN) for the Taliban to grant women more freedom, the Taliban has imposed a new ban restricting foreign women from driving cars in Afghanistan. The ban is the latest in a long series of restrictions on women’s rights, and more recently, on women aid workers’ rights. The UN this week threatened to close UN-operated bakeries that provide food aid to Afghans if the Taliban did not allow female aid workers to help administer a poverty survey related to the operation of the bakeries. The ban on foreign female drivers will further restrict aid agencies’ ability to reach those in greatest need. The Taliban has blamed recent tensions with the UN on pressure from US women’s organizations, despite the fact that their oppression of women and minorities clearly violates the UN charter and international standards of human rights.