UN Human Rights Council : Urgent debate on women and girls’ rights in Afghanistan

Ahmad Sahel Arman / AFP

1 July 2022. Since August 2021, the Taliban have carried out a full-on assault on the rights of women and girls, including their rights to freedom of movement, expression, work, and education. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation OPEN ASIA/Armanshahr welcome the urgent debate on human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan in the framework of the 50th session of UN Human Rights Council. They condemn in the strongest terms the systematic segregation and oppression of women and girls in Afghanistan. Read the oral statement below.

UN Human Rights Council – 50th session

Oral statement for the urgent debate on human rights of women and girls in Afghanistan

1 July 2022

Mr. President,

FIDH and its member organisation OPEN ASIA/Armanshahr welcome today’s debate and condemn in the strongest terms the systematic segregation and oppression of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Since August 2021, the Taliban have carried out a full-on assault on the rights of women and girls, including their rights to freedom of movement, expression, work, and education. Peaceful protests by brave Afghan women demanding their rights have been violently repressed in some cases. Many reports have emerged of Taliban’s threats, intimidation, restrictions, arrests, forced confessions, abductions, and enforced disappearances targeting women. In March this year, girls’ rights to education was indefinitely put on hold. In May, women were ordered not to leave their homes unless their heads and faces were covered by a full veil. This segregation has been carried out in complete disregard for international law, including CEDAW and the CRC, and has been exacerbated by the humanitarian crisis, which disproportionately impacts women and girls and their rights to food, water, health, and ultimately, life.

The Human Rights Council must ensure ongoing scrutiny of these grave violations of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, including by ensuring that proper attention is paid to this issue in its forthcoming sessions. We recommend relevant UN Special Procedures be mandated to conduct a joint official mission to Afghanistan to strengthen investigation and reporting of violations of the rights of women and girls, and to promote accountability for human rights violations committed against them.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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statement