Taliban authorities on Tuesday condemned UN accusations that they are violating the rights of women to work in Afghanistan, insisting thousands are employed in the country’s public sector.
But Sharafuddin Sharaf, chief of staff at the ministry of labour and social affairs, told AFP that many women were being paid despite not attending work, as offices were not set up for proper segregation of the sexes.
“Working together in one office is not possible in our Islamic system,” he said, a day after a United Nations rights expert said there had been a “staggering regression” in women’s rights since the Taliban’s return to power in August.
He could offer no figure on the number of women working but insisted “not a single female employee has been fired” from the civil service. However, there have been several protests by women over losing their jobs — some of which have been put down forcefully by the Taliban.
His comments come after a UN rights expert said women’s freedoms had significantly deteriorated since the Taliban returned.