The Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Markus Potzel, said that the restrictions on women’s activities will isolate Afghanistan.
In a special interview with TOLOnews, Markus Potzel said that Afghanistan is the only Islamic country where women and girls are left out of education.
“We engage with de facto authorities at the same time we criticize them for these omissions and we engage them at the highest level here in Kabul… then we ask for the reopening of girls’ schools, we ask for the reopening of universities for women and we also ask for female NGO workers to resume their work, to be able to work. We ask that women overall in Afghanistan can enjoy their rights. And Afghanistan has subscribed to many conventions granting human rights, especially for women and girls, and they should stick and abide by these rules and regulations they have subscribed to,” Potzel further said.
Alison Davidian, a representative for UN Women in Afghanistan, told TOLOnews she considers the contribution of women and girls important in the political arena and in ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“Over the past year and a half we have seen that there have been ongoing restrictions on women and girls’ ability to access education, to access work and to be able to access public life, but even in the face of all of these challenges, Afghan women are continuing to resist and continue to fight for their rights, to have free and equal rights, and as UN women we will continue to advocate with the Taliban authorities for their right to contribute to Afghanistan peace and development,” she said.
“The current officials of Afghanistan should know that education, wisdom and knowledge are not business or a means to achieve political goals. Still, women should not be a means to achieve political goals,” said Farah Mustafawi, a women’s rights activist.
However, the Islamic Emirate said that they are committed to ensuring the rights of all citizens in the country.
Bilal Karimi, the deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, considers such statements to be interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
“Afghanistan’s internal issues are related to the Afghan people, and the Afghan people decide on their own issues, and I mentioned earlier that the Islamic Emirate is working to ensure the rights of all citizens of the country, and in this regard, it ensures their rights,” Karimi said.
According to Alison Davidian, the Islamic Emirate has not taken any steps in the field of women’s education and work in the past 18 months.