A year after Taliban seized power, UN calls for ‘remember Afghan women and girls’

“As the world faces multiple and overlapping crises, we must not forget the women and girls of Afghanistan. When the human rights of women and girls are violated, they affect the human rights of women and girls,” said Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UN) on Monday, 15 August 2022. We all have.”

In a press release issued on August 15, 2022, exactly one year after the Taliban took power, she denounced the “continuous erosion” of women’s rights, from education to access to health care. She is making a chilling assessment of the situation in Afghanistan.

A disturbing reality in Afghanistan

“They are barely protected from domestic violence, women and girls are being held for minor violations of discriminatory rules, and the number of child and forced marriages has increased,” Amnesty International said. X

new report, Death in slow motion: Women and girls under the TalibanIt also reveals how women who peacefully protested these oppressive rules were subjected to threats, arrest, imprisonment, torture and enforced disappearance.

This policy constitutes a system of oppression that discriminates against women and girls in nearly all aspects of their lives. Every daily activity – going to school, working, leaving the house – is under control and severely curtailed.”

Various organizations call on the Taliban to radically change its policy and guarantee the rights of women and girls. The international community, governments and international organizations, as well as all member states of the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council must demand that the Taliban do so quickly. The consequences of Taliban actions, such as targeted sanctions or travel bans, should be attached.

“The Taliban are deliberately violating the rights of millions of women and girls, exposing them to systematic discrimination,” said Agnes Callamard. “If the international community does not act, it will fail the women and girls of Afghanistan.”

Women’s rights do not exist

A year ago, the Taliban invaded the Afghan capital, Kabul. More than twenty years after they were overthrown by an international coalition led by the United States. The fundamentalist Islamic group returned to power and re-established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Before their arrival, Afghan women and girls had access to education and work… In 2014, the parliament was 25% women.

Today, Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are not allowed to attend secondary school. They cannot participate in political life. Therefore, the Taliban government is male only.


Women and girls across Afghanistan have responded to this crackdown with a wave of protests. In response, the Taliban attacked protesters with harassment, beatings, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, and physical and psychological torture.

Amnesty International interviewed a protester who was imprisoned for a few days in 2022. She described her time in detention: “Taliban guards kept coming into my room and showing pictures of my family. They kept chanting… ‘We can kill them all, you can’t do anything…’” Don’t cry, don’t make a scene. After you needed, you could have foreseen it.”

She was also badly beaten: “They locked the door. They started yelling at me… One Taliban member said, ‘You dirty woman… America doesn’t give us money because of you bitches…’ Then they kicked me. I hit my back hard, and kicked me in the chin. Also… I can still feel the pain in my mouth. Every time I want to talk, I feel pain.”

Two women said that after photos of a protester’s injuries were posted on social media, Taliban members developed a new strategy to prevent women from showing their injuries publicly.

They hit us between our chests and our legs. They did it because we couldn’t show it to the world that way. A soldier walking beside me hit me on the chest and said, “I can kill you now and he won’t say a word.” This happened every time we went out. They insulted us – physically, verbally and emotionally.”

Protesters in prisons lacked food, water, ventilation, sanitation products, and health care. To be released, they had to sign agreements stating that they and their relatives would not demonstrate or speak publicly about their experiences in detention.


Afghanistan, Women’s Rights.

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