Rishi Sunak has warned the Taliban that “the world is watching” after they banned women in Afghanistan from attending university.
The Taliban security forces in Kabul have blocked women from entering universities after the group instructed public and private universities across the country on Tuesday. immediately suspend access to female students until further notice.
The decision was taken by the cabinet of the Taliban-led government but gave no reason and so far there has been no response to global condemnation.
On Wednesday, Mr. Sunakwho has two young daughters, added his criticism, writing on Twitter: “As a father to my daughters, I can’t imagine a world where they don’t go to school.
“The women of Afghanistan there’s a lot to offer. Not letting them go to college is a serious setback.
“The world is watching. We will judge the Taliban by their actions.”
The Taliban initially promised a more moderate rule respecting the rights of women and minorities, but the group has widely deployed its interpretation of Islamic law – or Sharia – since coming to power in September. 8 years ago.
In March, the Taliban turned around with the opening of all junior and senior high schools for girls.
The international community, including the US and UK, has not officially recognized the de facto government.
Washington has said it needs to change its policy on women’s education before it can consider formally recognizing the administration, which is subject to heavy sanctions.
Secretary of State James Cleverly also condemned the latest move, writing on Twitter: “Simply disgusting.
“The Taliban’s decision to prevent women from going to university shows their complete disregard for basic freedoms.
“The UK is working with our G7 partners to condemn and hold those responsible accountable.”
Barbara Woodward, Britain’s UN ambassador, said the latest suspension was “another serious cut to women’s rights and a profound disappointment for every schoolgirl”.
“This is also another step by the Taliban to move away from an autonomous and prosperous Afghanistan,” she told the council.
A senior British diplomat involved in continuing discussions with the Taliban told Sky News the ban was a major obstacle to negotiations.
“It’s a blow to the country, its diplomatic relations and most importantly, its people,” they said.
Confirmation of the university restrictions came on the evening of the same day when the special representative of the United Nations secretary-general in Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, said the closure of schools had “weakened”. the Taliban government’s relationship with the international community.
Speaking at a United Nations Security Council session on Afghanistan, she said: “As long as girls are banned from school and the authorities de facto continue to disregard the concerns raised, of the international community, we are still at an impasse.”
Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood said: “The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all Afghans, especially human rights. people and the fundamental freedoms of women and girls.”