The Latest: Taliban replace women’s government ministry

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have replaced the women’s ministry with an all-male “vice and virtue ministry” tasked with enforcing the group’s rigid interpretation of Islam.

The move Saturday was the latest to harken back to the group’s harsh 1990s rule that imposed deep restrictions on women.

The Taliban inside the new ministry said they had not been informed about where or if a new women’s ministry was being planned.

Also on Saturday, staff from the World Bank’s $100 million Women’s Economic Empowerment and Rural Development Program were escorted off the grounds.

A program member, Sharif Akhtar, who was escorted out with his staff, was at a loss to explain how or if the program could continue.

— By Kathy Gannon



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UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution stressing that Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers need to establish an inclusive government with “the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and upholding human rights.”

The resolution adopted by the U.N.’s most powerful body on Friday extends the current mandate of the U.N. political mission in Afghanistan for six months. It also stresses “the important role that the United Nations will continue to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

The resolution, drafted by Norway and Estonia, essentially delays a decision by the Security Council on a new mandate for the U.N. mission, known as UNAMA, until March 17, 2022, giving members time to assess the actions of the Taliban government in the coming months.

In a joint statement to the council, Norway and Estonia said the resolution “sends a unified message that we stand behind the U.N.’s efforts in Afghanistan going forward.”

The resolution ensures that the U.N. mission can continue to monitor and report on human rights, protecting civilians, violations and abuses against children, “and to support the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all levels of decision-making.”

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