“The Doha conference raised concerns that the UN was indirectly legitimizing the Taliban” – Global Issues
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A UN-sponsored meeting in Doha, Qatar, with the Taliban, envoys from up to 25 countries and other stakeholders has sparked international condemnation because Afghan women were not invited. It is the third such meeting but the first to be attended by the Taliban, who are not internationally recognised as Afghanistan’s rulers. Human rights activists have criticised the UN’s approach as giving legitimacy to the Taliban and betraying its commitment to women’s rights. They say: Gender Apartheid It should be recognised as an international crime and sanctions should be imposed on those responsible.

What is the objective and significance of the Third Doha Conference on Afghanistan?

The Third Doha Conference was held following a meeting of the UN Security Council. Solution It mandated an independent assessment of the situation in Afghanistan with the aim of facilitating Afghanistan’s reintegration into the international community and the United Nations. The appointed independent expert, a former Turkish diplomat, conducted a comprehensive assessment. While the assessment acknowledged human rights violations by the Taliban, particularly against women, it did not adequately address issues such as the persecution of minorities and the breakdown of the democratic process.

“The UN sees these talks as part of its plan for a peaceful Afghanistan that respects human rights, particularly those of women and girls, and is integrated into the international community. Yet the decision to exclude women from these important discussions is deeply contradictory. By accepting the Taliban’s conditions for participation in the talks, the UN is undermining its commitment to promoting inclusiveness and gender equality.

Why are human rights groups criticising the meeting and what are their demands?

Human rights groups have severely criticized the UN’s approach to the conference for several reasons. First, they condemn the exclusion of women from the main discussions, which is in direct contradiction to the UN’s commitment to gender mainstreaming and resolutions that advocate for women’s participation in peace processes. Second, there was a significant lack of transparency about the conference’s agenda and proceedings, especially the women’s session that took place after the main discussions. This lack of transparency has intensified concerns about the effectiveness and sincerity of the engagement.

Critics claim that the conference has focused mainly on economic issues and ignored important discussions on human rights and women’s rights. This has raised concerns that the UN is indirectly legitimizing the Taliban’s harsh policies. Human rights groups want the upcoming conference to be inclusive and transparent, and ensure that women’s voices are heard. They want the UN to play by the rules and not agree to demands that violate human rights.

What is the situation for Afghan women under Taliban rule?

Since the Taliban returned to power, the situation for women in Afghanistan has Worse Dramatically. Women were almost completely excluded from public life and were only allowed to work in very limited sectors, such as health and primary education, and only under strict conditions.

Afghanistan is the only country in the world that bans girls from education beyond the age of 11 or 12. Even younger, there are severe restrictions, including forcing girls to wear the hijab and a curriculum focused on religious education that risks radicalizing the next generation.

Women working in any position face severe economic discrimination: their salaries are restricted to unsustainable levels, making it impossible for them to live independently. When female health workers went on strike to protest these unfair conditions, the Ministry of Health refused to engage in dialogue.

“The Taliban’s systematic discrimination puts women at a disadvantage in all areas of life, from education to employment, perpetuating a vicious cycle of oppression and marginalization. There is a clear gap between the Doha Conference’s goal of a peaceful Afghanistan in which the human rights of women and girls are guaranteed and the harsh reality faced by Afghan women under Taliban rule.”

What should the international community do to support Afghan women?

To support women’s rights in Afghanistan, the international community must take a firm stance against the Taliban’s policies.

First, the Taliban should not be recognized as a legitimate government until they comply with international human rights standards, including on women’s rights. Second, existing sanctions against the Taliban should be strengthened to pressure them to comply with human rights standards. Third, the international community should hold the Taliban accountable for crimes, including violations of women’s rights, through legal mechanisms and continued support.

The plight of Afghan women is not simply a domestic issue, but a global issue that affects stability and peace throughout the region. Ignoring women’s suffering only serves to perpetuate the conflict and undermine efforts to achieve sustainable peace and development. The international community has a moral obligation to protect the rights of Afghan women and to uphold the principles of justice and equality in all interactions with the Taliban.

What should be done to ensure women are included in future talks on Afghanistan?

To ensure women’s inclusion in future international talks, it is essential to mandate their inclusion at every stage of the dialogue process. Women must be at every table, as their exclusion fundamentally undermines the legitimacy and effectiveness of the talks.

The international community should strongly reject any conditions set by the Taliban that violate human rights principles, particularly those that exclude women. Transparency is also crucial: the agenda and outcomes of the conference should be made public to ensure inclusiveness and accountability.

Afghanistan’s civic space is described as “closed” CIVICUS MONITOR.

To contact the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission: Website or Facebook Page, Follow Afghanistan IHRC and translation: On Twitter.

© Inter Press Services (2024) — All rights reservedSource: Inter Press Service


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