Afghanistan: ‘We are alive, but not alive’, women tell UN rights experts


“We are concerned about the widespread mental health issues and the accounts of Rising suicide among women and girlshe said in a joint statement, “This is the extreme state of institutionalized gender-based discrimination in Afghanistan unique anywhere in the world,

‘extreme’ discrimination

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021, the de facto authorities have issued a cascade of restrictive orders that “extreme institutional gender-based discrimination” And the rights of women and girls are being systematically taken away, he warned.

Working “Appalling “human rights violations” This has masked other underlying manifestations of gender-based discrimination before the Taliban regime and is now “deeply entrenched in society and even normalised”, she said.

are currently women barred from being in school above the sixth grade, care can be provided only by female doctors, including universities, and are stopped working in the United Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

‘Life under house arrest’

Special Envoy on the human rights situation in Afghanistan, Richard Bennettand president working group on discrimination against women and girls, Dorothy Estrada-Tankshared his initial observations including meetings with Taliban leaders and critical accounts The women and girls they met in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province between April 17 and May 4.

“Many women shared their feelings of fear and extreme anxiety, describing their situation house arrest life,” he reported.

“We are also particularly concerned by the fact that women who peacefully protest against repressive measures Threats of encounter, harassment, arbitrary detention and torture,” he said.

gross misconduct

For two years, the de facto authorities have dismantled the legal and institutional framework and “rule by the most”. Extreme forms of misogyny”Destroying the relative progress towards gender equality achieved in the past two decades, she said.

In meetings with the Taliban, experts said that in fact officials had told them that women were working in the health, education and business sectors and that they were making sure that Women can work according to Shariahdifferent from men.

actual officers reiterated their message that they were working on reopening schoolsthe experts said, without providing a clear timeline, and indicated that the international community should not interfere in the country’s internal affairs.

However, he added that the Taliban imposes certain interpretations of religion “that are not shared by the vast majority of Afghans”.

‘Alive but not alive’

The experts said that one of the women they spoke to told them, “we are alive but not alive,

Restrictive measures have yielded results Detention for alleged “moral offenses” Under extreme “modesty rules”, he said. there are also new laws dismantled the defense system and support for those fleeing domestic violence, leaving women and girls with absolutely no recourse.

Experts said the effect is alarming, noting that new measures imposed by the Taliban have reportedly contributed Increase in rates of child and forced marriagesas well as the spread of gender based violence done with impunity.

,These functions do not occur in isolation,” he warned. “If we are to end discrimination and break the cycle of violence, gender justice requires a holistic understanding of why such violations are committed.”

‘gender discrimination’

World “can’t close my eyes“He warned.

They recommended that the international community develop further regulatory standards and tools address the widespread phenomenon of “ gender apartheid” As an institutionalized system of discrimination, segregation, humiliation and exclusion of women and girls.

Also, the United Nations should take a human rights based approach There is a need for a deeper understanding and analysis of its principles, he said.

Technical and financial partners are greatly needed extend their support For the unwavering efforts of activists and grassroots organizations present in Afghanistan and “still vibrant civil societyHe recommended, “to avoid a complete breakdown of civic space which could have irreversible consequences.

he urged the real authorities honor commitments towards the protection and promotion of the rights of all women and girls and the fulfillment of obligations under instruments to which Afghanistan is a state party, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW,

special reporter

Experts are expected to present human rights council In June a joint report providing an in-depth analysis of the status of women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan, followed by an interactive dialogue with Afghan women.

Special Rapporteurs and other rights experts are appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, authorized to monitor and report on specific thematic issues or country situations, are not employees of the United Nations and do not receive a salary for their work.

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