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Afghanistan: Support Afghan Women Still in the Country

HRW Statement - Item 2 on Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on Afghanistan – HRC53

There is no country in the world in which the basic human rights of women and girls are more restricted than Afghanistan. In 2023, Afghanistan remains the only country where women and girls do not have access to secondary and higher education.

Women are being dismissed from all leadership posts and need to be accompanied by a male guardian while traveling in most provinces of Afghanistan. Women also do not have the right to  most employment and are barred from working with international NGOs (except in health care, nutrition, and primary education).

These are the latest in a string of decisions the Taliban have made that violate every aspect of the rights of women and girls. These restrictions are now the key contributing factor to Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, which affects the entire population, and has the greatest impact on women and girls due to countries cutting aid to Afghanistan. The responsibility for the consequences lies with the Taliban leadership.

I would like to highlight that women in Afghanistan are the frontline defenders of human rights. They are not only fighting for their own rights but for everyone’s basic rights and an equal future.

Human Rights Watch calls upon governments to continue to express their collective outrage at the denial of fundamental rights of women and girls in Afghanistan and support the local voices of Afghan women inside the country who are still bravely chanting "Bread, Work, Freedom."

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