Thursday, December 22, 2022
Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday urged the Afghan Taliban to "guarantee women’s rights, as well as the importance of full and equal participation of women and girls in all aspects of life".
UAE's top diplomat and called Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari discussed developments in Afghanistan and the Taliban's decision to ban the education of girls and women in the country's universities during a telephone call.
Both leaders emphasised that Islam has accorded women a privileged position, and safeguarded their rights.
"They affirmed the need to guarantee women’s rights, as well as the importance of full and equal participation of women and girls in all aspects of life," said the Foreign Office in a statement.
During the phone call, both foreign ministers also underscored their firm position in support of security, stability, and peace in Afghanistan. They also called for the advancement of international efforts aimed at building a more sustainable future for the Afghan people.
On December 20, Afghanistan's Taliban-run higher education ministry suspended access to universities by female students until further notice, drawing strong condemnation from the United States, Britain and the United Nations.
A letter, confirmed by a spokesperson for the higher education ministry, instructed Afghan public and private universities to suspend access to female students immediately, in accordance with a Cabinet decision.
The announcement by the Taliban administration, which has not been internationally recognised, came as the United Nations Security Council met in New York on Afghanistan.
Foreign governments, including the United States, have said that a change in policies on women's education is needed before it can consider formally recognising the Taliban-run administration, which is also subject to heavy sanctions.
Condemning the decision to suspend university and higher education for female students in Afghanistan, Pakistan urged the Afghan authorities to revisit the ruling.
"Pakistan is disappointed to learn about the suspension of university and higher education for female students in Afghanistan," an official statement from the Foreign Office read, adding that Pakistan's position on the issue has been "clear and consistent".
The FO added that "every man and woman has the inherent right to education in accordance with the injunctions of Islam."
Female university students in Afghanistan were turned away from campuses on Wednesday after the Taliban-run administration said women would be suspended from tertiary education.
The decision to bar women was announced on Tuesday evening in a letter to universities from the higher education ministry, drawing condemnation from foreign governments and the United Nations.