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It is ready to withdraw from Afghanistan in May if it cannot convince Taliban to permit local women to work for organization: UN

United Nations has said it is ready to withdraw from Afghanistan in May if it cannot convince the Taliban to permit local women to work for the organization, the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said. The UN is negotiating with the Taliban in hopes that it will make exceptions to a decree prohibiting local women from working for the organization.

UNDP Administrator, Achin Steiner, said it is fair to say that we may have to take a step back and re-evaluate the ability of the UN system to operate in Afghanistan, but it is not about negotiating fundamental principles and human rights.

The UN recently expressed serious concerns after the Afghan female UN staff members were banned from reporting to work in the eastern province of Afghanistan, Nangarhar.

The UN said: “The United Nations in Afghanistan expresses serious concern that female national UN staff have been prevented from reporting to work in Nangarhar province.”

The UN warned the Taliban that the life-saving aid would be at risk without female staff since most of the International organizations’ staff are female.

International organizations, including the UN, have repeatedly expressed their concerns over excluding women from the aid sector, saying that without female staff, the organizations will be unable to reach needy women. The Taliban since it came to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, has imposed bans on women and girls, preventing them from education and employment.
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