The UN Security Council on Tuesday reiterated its call for full participation of women and girls in Afghan society, expressing concern about the Taliban's ban on women studying and working.
"Deeply alarmed" by reports that the Taliban have suspended access to universities for women and girls, the council reiterated its concern over the suspension of school beyond the sixth grade and its call for "the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan," it said in a press statement.
The council called on the Taliban "to reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices," which represent "an increasing erosion of the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms."
Council members are "furthermore profoundly concerned" by reports that the Taliban have banned female employees of non-governmental organizations and international organizations from going to work, which would have a significant and immediate impact on humanitarian operations in the country, including those of the United Nations, and the delivery of aid and health work.
These restrictions contradict the commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people and the expectations of the international community, the council said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Dec. 20 expressed his alarm by reports that the Afghan Taliban have banned women and girls from attending universities, urging the de facto authorities in Afghanistan to ensure equal access to education at all levels for women and girls.