UN Expert Condemns Taliban Crimes Against Afghan Women, Girls

The United Nations human rights expert for Afghanistan has warned against disregarding the rights and voices of women at an upcoming international meeting with the country’s fundamentalist Taliban leaders.

Richard Bennett, the special rapporteur, gave this warning while sharing his latest report on the Taliban’s purportedly escalating rights violations against Afghan women and girls at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

According to Bennett, the Taliban’s systematic gender oppression, particularly through violations of women’s and girls’ rights, which is widespread, appears to be a severe attack on the civilian population, amounting to crimes against humanity.

“The gravity and scale of the crimes can’t be overstated. We have a collective responsibility to challenge and dismantle this appalling system and to hold those responsible to account,” said the U.N. expert.

Bennett emphasized the importance of the global community adopting an “all-tools approach” that focuses on justice and accountability.

This approach should integrate human rights and women’s perspectives into political processes and diplomatic interactions when engaging with the Taliban.

“It’s incumbent on us all to take decisive action to stand with Afghan women and girls, hold the perpetrators accountable, and restore dignity, equality, and justice for all.”

Unfortunately, the Taliban have rejected international criticism regarding their governance, particularly concerning women’s rights, arguing that their policies align with Afghan culture and their strict interpretation of Islamic law.

They have enforced restrictions such as banning girls aged 12 and above from attending secondary school and prohibiting women from working in most sectors, except for limited areas like healthcare.

Additionally, women are not permitted to travel long distances alone or visit public places like parks, gyms, and bathhouses without a male companion.

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