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women in kabul
The Taliban are internationally criticized for massively restricting women’s rights. © Ebrahim Noroozi/AP/dpa

Foreign Minister Baerbock has threatened Afghanistan with halting aid deliveries due to restrictions on women’s rights. The United Nations is now warning that women and children could die.

Brussels – UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed has warned Germany and other EU countries not to suspend humanitarian aid deliveries due to the misogynistic policies of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Governments have to explain to taxpayers why money is being given to a country that discriminates against women so much, Mohammed told the German Press Agency and other international media in Brussels. But the ugly truth is that women and children in Afghanistan would die without foreign help.

“There are temperatures of minus 30 degrees,” said the Assistant Secretary General. “And there are people who don’t know where they will get their next meal from.” The goal of the international community should be to apply pressure in other areas to persuade the Taliban Islamist militants to withdraw discriminatory decisions against women or at least to make more exceptions. As an example, he cited far-reaching employment and training bans on women, which also include work for aid organizations.

The Taliban have returned to power in Afghanistan since the summer of 2021 after international troops withdrew. The EU is discussing whether more development aid can be provided. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced a tough position from Germany at an EU meeting on Monday.

The Taliban massively restrict women’s rights

“If women can no longer work for international organizations, then help will no longer come. And as an international community, we cannot become the minions of the Taliban regarding the ban on women working,” said the Green politician. “That means: where women are no longer allowed to work, German relief supplies cannot reach either.” The Taliban are taking the entire Afghan population “hostage”.

The Taliban are criticized internationally mainly for their massive reduction of women’s rights. Schools for girls from the seventh grade onwards are closed in much of the country. College attendance has also been a taboo for women since December. In November, parks and gyms had to close their doors to women. At the end of December, women were prohibited from working for non-governmental organizations. dpa

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