World 'must not forget' Afghan women and children: UN

By: AFP
Published: 08:24 PM, 15 Aug, 2022
World 'must not forget' Afghan women and children: UN
Caption: Afghan women hold placards as they march and shout slogans "Bread, work, freedom" during a womens' rights protest in Kabul.
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The United Nations on Monday implored the world to not forget the plight of Afghanistan's women and children despite other international crises, one year after the Taliban's return to power.

The war-ravaged nation is suffering profound hardship including a staggering 95 percent of its population undernourished, United Nations Population Fund executive director Natalia Kanem warned in a statement on the anniversary of the hardline Islamists capturing Kabul.

"As the world faces multiple, overlapping crises, we must not forget the women and girls of Afghanistan. When women's and girls' basic rights are denied, we are all diminished," Kanem said, denouncing the "continuous erosion" of females' access to education and health care.

"One year since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the country remains in the throes of a deep economic and humanitarian crisis," she warned.

"Soaring food and fuel prices -- exacerbated by a drought and the war in Ukraine -- have resulted in an estimated 95 percent of the population, and nearly all female-headed households, not having enough to eat."

In a separate statement at the weekend, UN Under-Secretary-General Sima Bahous, who also heads the gender equality agency UN Women, denounced the "meticulously constructed policies of inequality" set up by the Taliban.

"We must continue to elevate the voices of Afghan women and girls who are fighting every day for their right to live free and equal lives," she said.

"Their fight is our fight. What happens to women and girls in Afghanistan is our global responsibility."

Taliban fighters celebrated the anniversary of their return to power -- and the departure of US troops after two decades of intervention -- by chanting victory slogans in Kabul.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.