Amnesty draws a horrible balance sheet
Taliban “almost abolish women’s rights”
08/11/2023, 8:31 p.m
After the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, it was only a matter of time before women and girls in the country would be deprived of their rights. The human rights organization Amnesty International has investigated the situation and speaks of a “systematic disenfranchisement”.
After two years of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Amnesty International has drawn a disastrous balance for women’s rights. The “systematic disenfranchisement” of women and girls since the radical Islamists took power again “possibly amounts to a crime against humanity,” the human rights organization said. “The Taliban have successively and systematically abolished the rights of girls and women in almost all areas of life.”
Since March 2022, girls from the seventh grade onwards have not been allowed to go to school – “that doesn’t apply in any other country in the world,” said Theresa Bergmann, Asia expert at Amnesty International in Germany. “According to reports, in some provinces, girls are now even being banned from attending school from the age of ten.”
Since taking power in August 2021, the Taliban in Afghanistan have increasingly excluded girls and women from public life. They are denied access to education, their job opportunities have been severely curtailed, they are not allowed to visit parks, fairs and gyms, and they are not allowed to travel without a male guardian.
In addition, women are forced to cover themselves in public. At the end of July, thousands of beauty salons also had to close because of a ban – one of the last employment opportunities and retreats for women.
Local workers and activists are still awaiting departure
As Amnesty has stated in several investigations, the radical Islamic Taliban are also targeting human rights lawyers, former local staff of foreign governments and organizations, and activists: “Arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions have been the order of the day in many places for two years.”
Amnesty called on the federal government to implement its promises to take in Afghans seeking protection. With the federal admissions program launched in October 2021, “not a single person at risk from Afghanistan has actually come to Germany,” the organization explained. This is also due to the understaffing of the German embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. According to Amnesty, around 12,000 people are still waiting in Afghanistan to travel to Germany.
Humanitarian aid must not be stopped
The Association for Development Policy and Humanitarian Aid (Venro) called for the supply of relief supplies for the Afghan civilian population to be maintained despite the difficult working conditions on site. “Otherwise we’ll be faced with another massive famine that was just avoided last year,” said Martina Schaub, chair of the board of Venro, an association of 140 German non-governmental organizations, around 20 of which are active in Afghanistan.
The health and education programs that still exist for women and girls often depend on international support, Schaub explained: “The reduction in humanitarian funds for Afghanistan cannot be a means of exerting pressure on women’s rights.”
According to the World Food Program (WFP), Afghanistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world as a result of price increases following the expiration of the Ukrainian-Russian grain agreement to export grain across the Black Sea.