“We are being made to disappear”: the cry of Afghan women at the UN

“We are being made disappear: The cry of Afghan women at the UN

Since their return to power, the Taliban have kept women out of public life and secondary schools.

Afghan women made a strong call at the UN on Monday for real international action to end the “gender apartheid” in their country since the Taliban returned to power.

Today there are no human rights in Afghanistan, Mahbouba Seraj told the Human Rights Council x27;UN in Geneva, on the occasion of a debate on the rights of Afghan women and girls.

This journalist and activist for women's rights in Afghanistan is tired of ringing the alarm bells in vain over the abrogation of the rights of women and girls in her country.

Women sit with their children in Spin Boldak, an Afghan town bordering Pakistan.

Since their return to power on August 15, 2021, the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on girls and women to conform to their ultra-rigorous vision of Islam, thus excluding them from public life. , but also secondary schools.

They must cover themselves completely in public, including the face, ideally with the burqa, a full veil with a fabric grid at eye level.

“Afghan women are now at the mercy of a group that is fundamentally anti-women and does not recognize women as human beings.

— Razia Sayad, Afghan lawyer and former commissioner of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

Women in this country don't exist not… We are being made to disappear, added Ms. Seraj.

She called on UN leaders to take all possible measures to reverse the situation.

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I beg you all: please, if this Council can do something, let it do it!, she exclaimed, asking them to stop talking about the subject if it does not come to anything.

Afghan schoolgirls at a primary school in Kabul, September 15, 2021

She suggested, along with others, that the Human Rights Council set up a group of independent experts to monitor all violations, with the aim of holding perpetrators to account. these abuses.

God only knows what kind of atrocities go unreported, she said.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, also underlined the importance of strengthening the issue of accountability, and indicated that the situation could be compared to gender apartheid.< /p>

Earlier today, the expert – whose mandate was created in October 2021 and is due for renewal on October 6 or 7 – presented his first report.< /p>

“Afghans are trapped in a human rights crisis that the world seems powerless to address.

— Richard Bennett, UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan

Besides the issue of the rights of women and girls, he listed a series of other violations, including the persecution of Hazaras and other Shia minorities.

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">Women gather outside an office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kandahar.

Hazara and Shia communities are one of the most severely persecuted groups. Their members have been arbitrarily arrested, tortured, summarily executed, displaced from their traditional lands, and are subject to discriminatory taxation and otherwise marginalized, Bennett said.

The Shia community, which is predominantly Hazara and accounts for between 10% and 20% of Afghanistan's population (about 40 million people), has long been persecuted in this predominantly Sunni country.

They have been victims of attacks for years, often claimed by the EI-K [the Islamic State-Khorasan, the regional branch of the EI, Ed], Mr. Bennett explained.

These attacks appear to be systematic in nature and include elements of organized politics. They therefore bear the mark of international crimes and must be thoroughly investigated, he said.

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