A year and a half after the Taliban offensive, the situation is disastrous for Afghan women and girls who see their lives at stake as a lever for negotiations. Ban after ban, their rights are being violated, and their living conditions are deteriorating in a society shaped by misogyny and patriarchy.
The persecutions suffered are characteristic of their gender and can no longer be interpreted as a religious remodelling of Afghan society. It is nothing but a gender apartheid, a crime against humanity that we must act upon in a united and unconditional manner. We can no longer compromise on the lives of Afghan women.
“Women and girls can no longer even take walks in parks, and dependence on male accompaniment means that women are now virtually prisoners in their own homes.”
– Statement by the Umbrella of Afghan Women Leaders on the Taliban’s ban to women’s work in the humanitarian NGO sector: Women’s Rights must NOT be a bargaining chip between the Taliban and the International Community
The decision to ban Afghan women from working in NGOs is a further attack that we cannot tolerate and whose consequences will be devastating—on several levels. Women will not only lose further authority and power over the narrative of their lives, and thus the very aid they seek and organise, but are also bound to lose out on humanitarian aid because of the gender segregation that will prevent men from reaching them.
It is crucial that Afghan women return to their posts for the attainment of a sustainable, feminist and peaceful resolution to the situation in Afghanistan.
Read Statement by the Umbrella of Afghan Women Leaders on the Taliban’s ban to women’s work in the humanitarian NGO sector: Women’s Rights must NOT be a bargaining chip between the Taliban and the International Community
*The Umbrella of Afghan Women Leaders is a platform led by Afghan women both inside Afghanistan and in the diaspora. One of the Umbrella’s objectives is to foster solidarity and coordination amongst Afghan women activists, networks, and coalitions inside and outside of Afghanistan to sustain the women movement under Taliban, and to improve the situation for Afghan women by ensuring their meaningful contribution to the social, economic and political life of the country.