Thursday, March 9, 2023

Afghanistan is the world's most repressive country for women, according to the UN

UN: Afghanistan is world's most repressive country for women


ISLAMABAD: The United Nations released gloomy assessments on International Women's Day, stating that since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, the nation has become the most oppressive place in the world for women and girls, denying them virtually all of their fundamental rights.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the UN Mission stated that the new rulers of Afghanistan have demonstrated a "single focus on imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes."

While US and NATO forces were in the final weeks of their withdrawal from Afghanistan after two decades of war, the Taliban have imposed harsh measures since taking power, despite initial promises of a more moderate stance.

Women are prohibited from working, studying, traveling alone, going to parks or bath houses, or even attending school after the sixth grade. Women are prohibited from working at national and international non-governmental organizations, which disrupts the delivery of humanitarian aid, and they are also required to cover themselves from head to toe.

Roza Otunbayeva, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general and head of the UN political mission in Afghanistan, stated in a statement that "Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the most repressive country in the world regarding women's rights."

"The Taliban claim to have united the country, but they have also severely divided it by gender," she later stated to the UN Security Council in New York. She stated that the Taliban inform the UN that "they say they should be judged on other achievements" and "that this gender segregation is not a significant issue and is being addressed."

Otunbayeva stated that "half of the country’s potential doctors, scientists, journalists, and politicians are shut away in their homes, their dreams crushed and their talents confiscated" at a time when Afghanistan needs to recover from decades of war.

She went on to say that "it has been distressing to witness their methodical, deliberate, and systematic efforts to push Afghan women and girls out of the public sphere."

International condemnation of the restrictions, particularly the prohibitions on education and NGO work, is strong. However, the Taliban have given no indications of withdrawing, guaranteeing the boycotts are brief suspensions set up supposedly on the grounds that ladies were not wearing the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, accurately and in light of the fact that orientation isolation rules were not being observed.

The Taliban government has claimed that some of the subjects being taught were inconsistent with Islamic and Afghan values in relation to the ban on university education.

Otunbayeva stated, "It is a colossal act of national self-harm to confine half of the country's population to their homes in one of the world's largest humanitarian and economic crises."

She admonished, "It will condemn not only women and girls, but all Afghans to poverty and aid dependence for generations to come." It will keep Afghanistan even further away from its own people and the rest of the world.

Women who previously worked for the government or were students at a high school or university now spend their days weaving carpets at a carpet factory in Kabul.

"We all live like prisoners, we feel like we are caught in a cage," Hafiza, 22, who uses only her first name, said. Prior to the Taliban's ban on women attending classes at her university, Hafiza was a first-year law student. When your dreams are dashed and you are punished for being a woman, it is the worst situation."

Shahida, an 18-year-old factory worker who goes by only one name, claimed that her education was terminated while she was in the 10th grade at one of Kabul's high schools.

She stated, "We just demand from the (Taliban) government to give us our rights and reopen schools and educational centers for us."

Zubaida Akbar, an activist for women's rights in Afghanistan, told the Security Council that "the rights of Afghan women and girls have been decimated through over 40 decrees" since the Taliban took power.

"The Taliban have sought not only to erase women from public life, but to extinguish our basic humanity," Zubaida said on behalf of Freedom Now, a rights organization that works with 20 grassroots movements in Afghanistan that are primarily led by women. Gender apartheid is the term that most accurately describes the current situation of Afghan women.

The UN Women special representative in Afghanistan, Alison Davidian, stated: The consequences of the harm that the Taliban are causing to their own citizens extend beyond girls and women.

No representatives of the government led by the Taliban were available for comment.

Otunbayeva from the United Nations said at the Security Council that there is a part of the Taliban that doesn't like the way they are treating women and girls and knows that the real needs of all Afghans need to be taken into consideration.

She suggested, "Perhaps it can eventually execute a change of direction." However, time is running out. Worldwide crises are getting worse. As donor resources become less readily available, the demands placed on them increase."

Around 200 Afghan female small business owners put together an exhibition of their products in Kabul ahead of International Women's Day on Wednesday. The majority lamented the decline in business following the Taliban takeover.

Tamkin Rahimi, one of them, stated, "I don't expect Taliban to respect women's rights." Because we are unable to attend college, work, or practice our rights, and because we cannot celebrate Women's Day, I believe we do not have a day to celebrate."

In a joint statement, ten of the 15 members of the Security Council demanded that the Taliban immediately end all of its oppressive actions against girls and women.

In a statement, Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom said, "Recovery in Afghanistan cannot happen without women's full, equal, and meaningful participation in all aspects of political, economic, and social life."

EleganceWorks Voices

Catch Daily Highlights In Your Email

* indicates required

Post Top Ad