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Campaign Opposes Taliban Forcing On-Air Female Journalists to Cover Faces

A new social media campaign, #FreeHerFace, has Afghan male journalists and others posting selfies with their faces covered, in solidarity with the Afghan women journalists facing a harmful new Taliban decree. On May 9, the Taliban ordered women and…
A tv anchor wears a face mask on the air
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Conflating humanitarian aid and the release of Afghanistan's assets will only increase suffering.

Last August, after the Taliban took control of my country again, the harrowing image of two boys hanging and falling from a US plane evacuating Afghans circulated widely on social media. That plane embodied the difference between lives that…
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News

Home Office Should Expedite Long-Term Housing, Support Services

(London) – The uncertainty and crowding in temporary housing is causing growing tensions for Afghan evacuees in the United Kingdom, especially women. Eight months after emergency evacuations from Afghanistan, many Afghan evacuees to the UK are…
Refugees from Afghanistan wait to be processed after arriving on an evacuation flight at Heathrow Airport, London, on August 26, 2021.
News

Collapsing Healthcare System Particularly Harmful for Women

“We just buried Mom. Can you believe it? She was too young to die. I can’t take her place for my younger siblings.” These are the painful words of my 17-year-old cousin, Sima, who had just lost her mother a few hours before we spoke. My Aunt…
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News

‘Taliban want to make it so harsh and strict we give up on education’

After taking over Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban instituted a de facto ban on girls’ secondary education, even though community pressure resulted in some girls’ secondary schools reopening in about nine provinces. Many of these closed after…
Girls stand outside while attending school
News

Bomb Blasts in Kabul’s Hazara Neighborhood Deepen Students’, Families’ Fears

Afghanistan’s children are bleeding again. Multiple bomb blasts on April 19 outside a high school and an education center in Kabul’s Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood left at least six people dead and twenty wounded, including children, and casualties could…
A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of an explosion in front of a school, in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 19, 2022.
News

Taliban Should Investigate Alia Azizi’s ‘Disappearance,’ Report Whereabouts

(New York) – The women’s prison director in Herat, Afghanistan has been missing since October 2021 and is feared to have been forcibly disappeared, Human Rights Watch said today. Alia Azizi had worked under the former government but returned to…
Alia Azizi.
News

Guidelines for Donor Countries, Other Concerned Governments

March 21: Taliban announce girls’ secondary schools will reopen March 23. March 23: Taliban announce girls’ secondary schools will remain closed until compliant with Islamic law. March 25: Taliban begin blocking women from air travel without a…
Women chant and hold signs at a protest
News

Taliban’s Attack on Girls’ Right to Education Continues

“For Afghan girls, the earth is unbearable, and the sky is unreachable.” Atefa, 16, used this Farsi proverb to express her despair after the Taliban blocked girls from attending secondary school this week, breaking a pledge to end the ban. I…
Afghan girls attend class at a high school in Herat, Afghanistan, November 25, 2021.
News

Action Taken Days Before Key Donor Pledging Conference

On March 21 the Taliban promised to reopen all schools in Afghanistan, ending their seven-month de-facto ban on girls attending secondary school. Two days later, as many girls were preparing for the first day of the new school term, the Taliban…
A woman holds a protest sign that reads "Education is our right"
News

Taliban abuses demand action from countries with a ‘feminist foreign policy'

(New York) – Canada, France, Germany, and Sweden are four of only five countries that claim to have a “feminist foreign policy.” Each of them have also been deeply involved in Afghanistan, where the Taliban’s rollback of women’s rights poses a…
Women walking Nadir Khan Overlooking Kabul womens rights us withdrawl
News

Measuring Taliban Pledges Against Practice

(New York) – The Taliban’s pledge to allow all girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan to reopen on March 23, 2022, needs careful monitoring, Human Rights Watch said today. Aziz Ahmad Rayan, an Afghan education ministry spokesman, told the media on…
Afghan girls exit classrooms at Tajrobawai Girls High School in Herat, one of the few provinces where the Taliban permitted girls' secondary schools to reopen, November 25, 2021.
News

Policy Recommendations for International Donors

(New York) – International donors seeking to fund education for girls and women in Afghanistan should carefully consider and address the human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Taliban have said that they…
Girls gather to go home from school.
News

Lessons for donors from Afghan students, teachers, and principals

A crucial deadline looms for girls in Afghanistan: the Taliban say they will reopen all girls’ secondary schools in late March 2022, when the new school year commences in most provinces. But it is far from clear what that will mean in practice if…
Girls gather to go home from school.
News

Taliban Violations Highlight Fragility of Rights of Women and Girls Globally

“While it feels as though the world has given up on Afghan women, we have not.…We need you to stand by us.”—Afghan women’s rights activist Mahbouba Seraj, to the United Nations Security Council, January 26, 2022 On International Women’s Day, we…
A man in military uniform points in the face of a woman
News

Taliban Crushes Women’s Freedom of Movement and Other Rights

When the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, the change for women and girls was immediate. They suddenly had to be afraid to leave their houses. The men outside – Taliban members – were notorious for attacking women for how they…
A woman wearing a burqa walks by a group of men
News

Wearing a Hijab Should be a Personal Choice

The recent protests in India’s Karnataka state over the wearing of the hijab, or headscarf, in educational institutions have exposed communal rifts in India that are increasingly fueled by divisive political campaigns. These rifts are so strong, they…
Schoolgirls in hijabs
News

Standoff Points to Growing Marginalization of Muslims

Over the past month, several government-run educational institutions in India’s Karnataka state have banned Muslim female students from wearing the hijab, or headscarf. The state government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),…
Women in masks holding up protest signs
News

Urgently Strengthen Protection, Assistance, Inclusion

(New York) - Children with disabilities often face increased risk of harm during armed conflict and crises, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations and governments around the world need to urgently ensure protection and assistance for…
Hamamatou, a 13-year-old girl who had polio, in front of a Catholic mission where she lived in 2015.
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