UN experts blame Taliban and US sanctions for suffering of Afghanistan women

UN experts Monday blamed both the Taliban regime and the US for the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The US sanctioned the Taliban government when it came back to power in 2021 after 20 years. In February 2022, however, President Joe Biden signed an executive order offering some help to the Afghan people, although most funds stayed in the US for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

UN experts said that women’s rights in Afghanistan have been under attack since the Taliban retook Kabul in August 2021. The regime restricted women’s freedoms ranging from clothing, transportation, and education. With US forces leaving Afghanistan, those restrictions will only get worse. Women’s primary schools are open, but secondary schools are closed. New requirements also included the reintroduction of the burqa—traditional clothing that covers most of the body and face.

The situation in Afghanistan goes beyond political and religious beliefs, according to the experts. Both the COVID-19 pandemic and critical droughts have left the nation vulnerable, with hunger as a prevalent concern. With international aid being cut off, the Afghani people are suffering. Additionally, as natural concerns take precedent, women’s issues are losing potency. Back in January, the UN Secretary-General said the climate and frozen asset issues are “a lethal combination” for Afghanistan.

The experts pointed out that issues will not end overnight and that the US must find a balance between strict sanctions and humanitarian aid. While the US government intended to pressure the Taliban government, it is detrimentally affecting Afghanis. Women subject to the strict laws in their country are the most vulnerable.