G7 urges immediate reversal of Taliban ban on women’s working rights

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G7 foreign ministers on Tuesday demanded the “immediate reversal” of a ban on women in Afghanistan working for non-governmental organizations and the United Nations.

“We call for the immediate reversal of unacceptable decisions restricting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the latest bans prohibiting Afghan women from working for NGOs and the UN,” the top diplomats said in a statement after two days of talks in Japan.

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The group also slammed the Taliban authorities’ “systematic abuses of human rights of women and girls and discrimination against the members of religious and ethnic minorities”.

Taliban authorities triggered international outrage this month after extending a December ban on Afghan women working for non-governmental organisations to include the UN.

They have rejected criticism over the move, saying it is an internal issue that should be “respected by all sides.”

The UN has said the ban forces it to make an “appalling choice” on whether to continue operations in Afghanistan.

It says it cannot comply with the ban as it is “unlawful under international law, including the UN Charter”.

Under their interpretation of Islam, Taliban authorities have imposed a slew of restrictions on Afghan women since seizing power in 2021, including banning them from higher education and many government jobs.

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