HRW Urges Afghan War Commission To Examine US Role on Women’s Rights

Wednesday, 09/07/2022

Human Rights Watch has urged the Afghanistan War Commission to examine US government pledges on women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan with expertise.

HRW added that it was troubled by the fact that none of the 14 men and 2 women appointed as commissioners are experts on women’s rights, and none are Afghan or from the Afghan diaspora. IT asked the commission to include women in its fold.

HRW stated that the Taliban, after seizing power in August 2021, dismantled the system which had been developed with the US support to respond to gender-based violence. “The dreams of Afghan girls and women have been shattered with the Taliban ban on girls from attending secondary schools and women from most jobs. Women’s and girls’ rights to free movement, association, and expression have been severely curbed,” the report said.

It also accused the US of leaving women and activists out in the cold during the evacuation process. Only 7 to 10 percent of Afghan applicants for US special immigrant visas are women, it stated. The rights watchdog urged the commission to investigate and document the US government’s failure to deliver most of its promises to Afghan women and set out what can still be salvaged to help protect those living under the Taliban’s brutal rule and assist those who managed to flee abroad.

The commission had been created in December 2021 to examine “key strategic, diplomatic, and operational decisions” the US made in Afghanistan, and to develop “lessons learned and recommendations for the way forward”. The Commission’s executive director is not appointed yet, providing an opportunity to seek someone with women’s rights expertise, HRW said.

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