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A Taliban-Kabul deal must protect women's rights - U.N.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Any future peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban should include a clear commitment to respecting women's rights, a United Nations women's rights body said on Friday.
It also voiced regret at what it called the exclusion of Afghan women from the high decision-making level of the London conference on Afghanistan last week.
At the London talks, Afghan President Hamid Karzai invited the Taliban to a peace council and set out plans to lure fighters down from the hills in return for cash and jobs. The Taliban said in a statement on Thursday that they would not enter any "deal" with Kabul or the West.
"Any agreement reached with the Taliban should include a clear commitment to the respect and protection of women's human rights," the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) said in a statement.
The committee's 23 experts monitor compliance with a treaty ratified by 186 countries including Afghanistan.
Afghan women, the majority of the population, must be "full and equal participants in decision-making, at all levels, in the process of peace-building, reconciliation, reconstruction, rebuilding and development of their country", it said.
The Taliban were in power from 1996 until U.S.-led forces toppled the hardline Islamists after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America. During their austere Islamist rule in Kabul, women were banned from education and work.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Jonathan Lynn and Tim Pearce)
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