UNAMA Urges Taliban To End Violence Against Women

Friday, 11/25/2022

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has urged Taliban to take immediate steps to end violence against women and promote women’s rights in order to establish a meaningful and sustainable peace.

With the world marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a 16-Day global activism against gender-based violence has been started.

“The fundamental rights of Afghan women need to be protected and concrete steps need to be taken for an enabling environment which is free from all forms of violence,” said Roza Otunbayeva, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Protecting the rights of women is a crucial factor for stability, prosperity and any lasting peace in Afghanistan” said Otunbayeva, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

“Each day we continue to see the normalization of violence against women and girls, in their homes, places where they are allowed to work, online, and in public spaces. We need to renew our efforts to invest in both the protection and empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan,” said Alison Davidian, UN Women’s Representative in Afghanistan.

Since the summer of 2021, women in Afghanistan have had many of their most fundamental rights restricted or rescinded in a country that has one of the highest rates of violence against women globally. The situation is exacerbated by a dire humanitarian and economic crisis, and the restrictions on women’s fundamental rights, including the freedom to move, work, seek education, and participate in public life.

Women and girls are experiencing the most significant and rapid roll-back in enjoyment of their rights across the board in decades. Women under the Taliban are currently facing oppression in their day-today life with restrictions on movement, dress, no access to education and rolling back of their achievements over the past 20 years. Women have faced restrictions on employment, community presence, and political activities. After entering Kabul, the Taliban abolished the Ministry of Women Affairs and dedicated the ministry’s headquarters to the newly-established Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

In fact, a plan for the separation of men and women socially has been implemented by the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice of the Taliban at universities, restaurants, parks and gymnasiums. The working women of Afghanistan have lost their jobs in most cases too and no women are involved in the policing-making circles of the country.

Human rights organizations have said that the Taliban are practicing "gender apartheid" against Afghan women. In 2021, soon after the fall of Kabul, groups of women activists came to the streets and held a demonstration for women’s rights. However, then too, the Taliban had suppressed the demonstrators in Kabul and other provinces. They continue to detain women activists, and even stop media outlets from covering the protests. The Taliban have also subjected women to increasing violence since they took power. Sometimes as a way of punishing their family members.

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