A UN delegation, which held talks with senior Taliban officials in Afghanistan, has made headway on women’s rights, the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told Al Jazeera on Saturday, cautioning that much remains to be achieved.

The high-level meeting earlier this week comes amid widespread criticism of the governing Taliban for banning women from universities and NGOs last month. Millions of high school girls have already been confined to their homes as schools remain shut. The Taliban has gone back on its promises of women’s rights and media freedom since they stormed to power in August 2021 after the West-backed government collapsed.

“There has been some progress. Some exemptions have been made to the edicts that have covered the health sector,” Mohammed, who led the delegation, said, referring to the resumption of work by three NGOs last week.

“I think that’s because the international community, and particularly the partners who are funding this were able to show the implications and the impact of the woman-to-woman services, particularly childbirth,” she added.