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Taliban Violates Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

Many Afghans who hoped the Taliban would reform their extreme views amid ongoing talks with the Afghan government and the U.S. troop withdrawal have been disappointed by the new severe restrictions imposed on the local population in some of the districts that they have recently captured.

Since coming in office in August 2021, the Taliban impose harsh restrictions on the rights of women and girls, suppressed media and critical voices.

Before their ouster by the United States in 2001, the Taliban mandated Afghans follow a strict interpretation of Sharia law, forcing women to cover themselves from head to foot and preventing them from leaving their houses without a male companion.

That changed after 2001 when the new Afghan government, supported by U.S.-led forces, introduced laws to encourage more girls to attend school and to have more women participate in the workforce.

Nahida, who requested to be identified by her pseudonym due to safety concerns, said the group’s new restrictions will be difficult for women to follow “since many of them are the breadwinners of their families and they have to work outside.”

According to the Afghan government, about 30% of the civil servants are now women who were not allowed to work outside their homes during the Taliban’s rule.

The Taliban Required to Respect Human rights Law

The Taliban would also be required to enforce UNSC financial sanctions against listed individuals and entities from the Taliban itself (including senior members of its own government), al-Qaeda, and ISIL-K.

In fulfilling its counter-terrorism obligations, a Taliban government must comply with its obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Indeed the UN Secretary-General has called for “adherence to the international obligations of Afghanistan, including all international agreements to which it is a party”.

The Taliban government is also responsible for any breaches of Afghanistan’s obligations, and has a duty to cease violations and make reparation.

In this regard, the Global Rights Watch called on the Taliban authorities to seek an inclusive, negotiated political settlement, with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, that responds to the desire of Afghans to sustain and build on Afghanistan’s gains over the last twenty years in adherence to the rule of law, and underlines that all parties must respect their obligations.

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