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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

2021 ‘Hasn’t Been a Good Year’ for Afghan Women: HRW

The Human Rights Watch cited 2021 as an unfortunate year for women “mostly because of Afghanistan”.  

The associate director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, Heather Barr, said that the “Taliban” rolled back Afghan women’s access to their rights.

“So, it is the end of the year, and we are looking back on what kind of the year 2021 has been for women’s rights around the world, and unfortunately, it hasn’t been a good year, I mean that is mostly because of Afghanistan,” she told TOLOnews on Tuesday. “I think that what we saw after August fifteenth, is that as the Taliban rolled backed the right to education, the right to employment, the right to access health care, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of association and the right to live free from violence for women and girls across Afghanistan.” 

A prominent Afghan women rights activist, Mahbouba Seraj, voiced concerns over the current status of Afghan women.  

“When the right of education is taken from girls and women, and they are incapable of doing their activities, and all kind of access is restricted for women, this is the worst situation for women in the country,” she said.   

According to her, the main reason for the current crisis in the country is due to women’s isolation from society, including governmental affairs. “I remained here (Afghanistan) to be the voice of women and to warn that no government can survive,” Seraj said.  

Barr also referred to the international community and said that it “didn’t do much” to protect Afghan women.  

“I think that really illustrates for women around the world, how fragile our rights are and how easily they can be rolled back and how little resistance we’ll see from the governments,” she said.  

“The silence of the international community is one of the reasons that women are faced with the worst situations,” said Madina Darwazi, a women rights activist.  

But the Islamic Emirate said that it has been committed to women’s rights based on Islamic values.  

“Many women are still working in several organizations and girls also going to schools in some provinces. We are committed to ensuring the rights of all citizens,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.  

This comes as the Islamic Emirate has been facing criticism inside and outside Afghanistan for imposing restrictions on women.

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