Monday, June 17, 2024

UN predicts that restrictions on Afghan girls will contribute to a 25% increase in child marriages

Impact of Taliban Restrictions on Afghan Women and Girls: UN Brief Highlights Concerns and Demands

The United Nations agencies have issued a grave warning regarding the impact of the Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan. According to a joint two-page brief released by UN Women, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the continuation of these oppressive restrictions will lead to a drastic increase in child marriages among Afghan girls.

The brief highlights that the restrictions imposed by the Taliban will result in a 25 per cent increase in child marriages, a 45 per cent increase in early childbearing, and a 50 per cent increase in the risk of maternal mortality. Currently, a staggering 82 per cent of Afghan women consider their mental health to be in poor condition due to these restrictions.

Afghanistan is singled out in the brief as the only nation in the world that prohibits girls from attending school beyond the sixth grade. Additionally, Afghan women have been banned from pursuing higher education, further exacerbating their plight.

Despite facing these immense challenges, Afghan women have not given up fighting for their rights to live with dignity. They continue to form civil society organizations, run businesses, and provide essential services to their communities. The brief emphasizes that Afghan women are resilient and determined to make their demands known to the international community.

In response to these alarming developments, the UN agencies have called on the international community to remain focused on the situation in Afghanistan and work towards restoring women’s rights, including access to education and employment. Analysts have criticized the lack of a cohesive policy to address these restrictions, noting that forced marriages are just one of the many barriers preventing girls from receiving an education.

Women’s rights activists in Afghanistan have condemned the forced marriages resulting from these oppressive measures, highlighting the violation of civil laws that set the minimum age of marriage for girls at 16. In the face of mounting international pressure, several nations, including the US, have urged the Taliban to lift their bans on women and have made it clear that recognition will not be granted until women’s rights are respected.

The situation in Afghanistan remains dire, with Afghan women fighting for their basic rights amidst increasing threats to their wellbeing. The international community will be closely watching to see how these developments unfold and whether tangible progress can be made towards securing a better future for Afghan women and girls.

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