The United Nations will not participate in talks with Afghanistan's Taliban militia group because the Taliban refuses to allow the presence of U.N. office for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan head Alfredo Witschi-Cestari, according to the Washington Post.
Earlier this year, Witschi-Cestari ordered the temporary termination of aid to Afghanistan as a protest to the Taliban's harassment of U.N. workers, treatment of women and decrees that foreign Muslim women must be accompanied by a husband, brother or son while in public.
Taliban militia leaders, U.S. State Department officials, and representatives of the northern opposition that retains control of 15 percent of the country met yesterday in Islamabad, Pakistan. The group discussed the formation of a steering committee composed of Islamic religious scholars that would participate in peace-talks next week.
Since the fundamentalist militia group gained control of 85 percent of the Afghanistan in 1996, they have issued a series of decrees designed to strip women of their most basic human rights. Women are prohibited from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a brother, son or husband, girls are forbidden to attend school, and women's access to healthcare is largely restricted.
After talks with U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson late last week, the Taliban said they may consider segregated religious universities for women and may allow women and girls to receive healthcare from Afghan women doctors.
Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan!
Feminist News Stories on Afghanistan
Media Resources: Washington Post, Reuters - April 21/20, 1998
3/25/2015 Afghan Woman Beaten to Death for Burning Koran - A 27-year-old woman who reportedly burned a copy of the Koran inside of a riverside shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan was brutally beaten and burned alive on Thursday.
Shocking videos quickly spread on social media showing crowds of men surrounded by hundreds of onlookers assaulting the 27-year-old Farkhunda with bricks and sticks and repeatedly kicking her. . . .
3/25/2015 Masked Intruder Attacks Last Abortion Clinic Standing in Mississippi - In the early hours of the morning Monday, a person in a mask wielding what appeared to be a machete attacked the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi.
The clinic revealed in a post on their website the details of the attack on what is affectionately referred to by staff and community members as The Pink House. . . .
3/17/2015 Vice President Biden Pledges 41 Million to Clear Rape Kit Backlog - Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Mikulski (D-MD) spoke yesterday at a Maryland State Police Laboratory to declare their support for a $41 million budget proposal to combat the national backlog of rape kits.
"Testing rape kits should be an absolute priority for the United States of America," Vice President Biden said, referring to the estimated 400,000 untested rape kits nationwide. . . .