The 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
13 June to 8 July 2022
Statement of Meezaan Center for Human Rights and Geneva International Centre for Justice
Item 1: Urgent debate on human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan
1 July 2022
By Yasmine Darwish
Thank you, President.
We are here to reaffirm something that should not need to be said in 2022: women’s rights are human rights. Following their takeover, the Taliban promised to uphold the rights of all. Instead, they have announced more than 30 policies that are systematically eliminating women and girls from all aspects of society.
Measures such as the suspension of girls’ secondary education are depriving 1.1 million girls of a future. The denial of education not only violates their human rights, but it also leaves them more exposed to violence, poverty and exploitation. The severe barriers to employment, the absence of opportunities to participate in political and public life, as well as the limits on freedom of movement, association, and expression, fit the pattern of absolute gender segregation and are aimed at making women invisible in society.
We are appalled by the harsh manner with which the de facto authorities have responded to Afghan women claiming their fundamental rights, with reports of peaceful protesters beaten, ill-treated, threatened, and in confirmed instances detained arbitrarily.
Meezaan and Geneva International Center for Justice strongly condemn the imposition of these measures that disempower half of Afghanistan’s population. Structural discrimination such as this is deeply damaging for the country’s prospects of future recovery and development. Afghan women deserve to live in dignity and to actively participate in building their country after years of occupation and war.