UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an appeal Thursday for reversing a decline in women's rights in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, reports AFP.
"We need to fight back -- and turn the clock forward -- for every woman and girl," Guterres told the Security Council.
In Myanmar, Ethiopia, Yemen and other parts of the world the rights of women are being violated or eliminated altogether, Guterres said.
"In Mali, after two coups in nine months, the space for women's rights is not just shrinking, but closing," he said.
"In Afghanistan, girls and women are seeing a rapid reversal of the rights they achieved in recent decades, including their right to a seat in the classroom," Guterres said.
Since the hardline Islamist Taliban movement seized power in late August, it has excluded girls from returning to secondary school while ordering boys back to class.
"In Afghanistan, the UN is staying and delivering, and will continue to promote and defend the rights of women and girls in all our engagements with the Taliban de facto authorities," the UN chief said.
Fawzia Koofi, a former Afghan negotiator and member of the Afghan parliament, voiced regret that the Taliban's government didn't include women.
"It's not just a political and social issue but its a matter of security," said Koofi, who was in New York heading a delegation of four Afghan women, during a meeting with journalists at the United Nations.
"If there is a reliable government in Afghanistan that will accommodate diversity and inclusion of everyone, including women" it "can be a trusted partner to the world -- but the reality is that this is not" the case, she said.