Gender equality and women’s rights wiped out under the Taliban


  • Opinion by Sima Bahous (New York)
  • Inter Press Service

It has been a year of increasing disrespect for their right to a free and equal life, denying them the opportunity to livelihood, access to health care and education, and to escape violent situations.

The Taliban’s carefully crafted policy of inequality distinguishes Afghanistan. It is the only country in the world where girls are not allowed to attend secondary school. There are no women in the Taliban cabinet, no Ministry of Women’s Affairs, effectively removing women’s right to political participation.

For the most part, women are also not allowed to work outside the home, and are required to cover their faces in public and have a male chaperone when they travel. In addition, they are still subjected to multiple forms of gender-based violence.

The exclusion of women from all aspects of life robs the people of Afghanistan of half of their talent and energy. It prevents women from leading efforts to build resilient communities and diminishes Afghanistan’s ability to recover from crisis.

There is a clear lesson from humanity’s over-extended experience of crisis. Without the full participation of women and girls in all aspects of public life, there is little chance of lasting peace, stability and economic development.

That is why we urge the de facto authorities to open schools for all girls, to remove restrictions on women’s employment and participation in their country’s politics, and to put into effect all decisions and policies that deprive women of their rights. to pull. We call for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls.

We urge the de facto authorities to ensure that women journalists, human rights defenders and civil society actors enjoy freedom of expression, access to information and work freely and independently, without fear of reprisal or attack.

The international community’s support for women’s rights and its investment in women themselves are more important than ever: in women’s services, in jobs and women-led businesses, and in women’s leaders and women’s organizations.

This includes not only support for the delivery of humanitarian aid, but also sustained and sustained efforts at the political level to effect change.

UN Women has remained in the country during this crisis and will continue to do so. We are steadfast in our support for Afghan women and girls, along with our partners and donors.

We are increasing the supply of life-saving services for women, by women, to meet the overwhelming needs. We support women-led businesses and employment in all sectors to lift the country out of poverty.

We also invest in women-led civil society organizations to support the rebuilding of the women’s movement. As everywhere in the world, civil society is a key driver of progress and accountability in the field of women’s rights and gender equality.

Every day we advocate for the restoration, protection and promotion of the full spectrum of women’s and girls’ rights. We also create spaces for Afghan women themselves to advocate for their right to a free and equal life.

A year on, with women’s visibility so diminished and rights so severely compromised, it is vital to direct targeted, substantial and systematic funding to address and reverse this situation and to encourage meaningful participation of women to facilitate all stakeholder involvement in Afghanistan, including in delegations that meet with Taliban officials.

Decades of progress on gender equality and women’s rights have swept away in just a few months. We must continue to act together, united in our insistence on guarantees of respect for the full spectrum of women’s rights, including education, employment and participation in public and political life.

We must continue to collectively and continuously call on the Taliban leadership to fully comply with binding obligations under international treaties to which Afghanistan is a party.

And we must continue to raise the voices of Afghan women and girls who fight every day for their right to a free and equal life. Their fight is our fight. What happens to women and girls in Afghanistan is our global responsibility.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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