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UNICEF expresses "cautious optimism" after Taliban takes progressive stance on girls' education

UNICEF expresses cautious optimism after Taliban takes progressive stance on girls education

Geneva: Following the Taliban's seizure of power in Afghanistan, the chief of field operations of the U.N. children's agency expressed cautious optimism about working with Taliban officials citing their early expressions of support for girls' education, a Reuters report said on Tuesday.

Apparently, UNICEF has held initial meetings with new Taliban representatives in recently seized cities like Kandahar, Herat and Jalalabad and is still delivering aid to most parts of Afghanistan.

In a UN briefing, the UNICEF's chief of field operations in Afghanistan, Mustapha Ben Messaoud expressed optimism in the ongoing discussions with the Taliban.11 out of 13 field offices were currently operational in the country.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 when it had strict laws imposed on women. Girls were not allowed to attend schools. women were forbidden from working and had to cover their faces and always be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to set outside their home.

Meanwhile, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned of "chilling" curbs on human rights under the Taliban on Monday.

However, UNICEF stated that while some Taliban local representatives were waiting for guidance from their leaders on the subject of educating girls, many others want schools "up and running" in the country.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights commented that fears of safety of many Afghans about the Taliban were "thoroughly understandable" and asked the Taliban to put the words into action in women's rights issue.

However, United Nations is not planning staff evacuations at the moment and is actively appealing for additional aid for its operations amid warnings of growing humanitarian needs.

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