Statement of the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on International Women’s Day  


Statement of the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on International Women’s Day

8 March 2023

The International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the achievements and challenges towards the advancement of women's rights and gender equality worldwide. On this day, we take the opportunity to highlight the unprecedented challenges facing women and girls in Afghanistan. While strongly condemning continued repressive and discriminatory policies depriving them of their fundamental rights, we reiterate our unwavering commitment to all Afghan women and girls.
Since the military takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban on 15th August 2021, women and girls are systematically being erased from public life through a series of discriminatory and exclusionary measures grounded on gender-based bias and violence. The Taliban have been reversing all significant achievements made in two decades by the people of Afghanistan and our international partners in the areas of women’s empowerment including education, employment, political participation, healthcare, media and culture, business, and those related to innovation, technology, and digital education. In the past several months, the Taliban have taken new measures to suppress women’s rights. In December, they issued a new decree banning women and girls from attending universities and accessing higher education.
Soon after, a new decree was issued preventing women from working in national and international NGOs. With this decision, the Taliban not only deprived women of their right to work but also disrupted the delivery of humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable and marginalized segment of society. This unprecedented and systematic discrimination against women amounts to gender apartheid. These decisions, in addition to the previous directives banning women and girls from access to secondary education, and restricting their freedom of movement and public participation, have significantly narrowed space for women and girls and deprived them of their most fundamental rights and freedoms.
The continued oppression of human rights and marginalization of women and girls from public life have a devastating impact on society, the economy and more broadly, on the future of the country. Women play an invaluable role in a society and their exclusion is a deliberate act of self-sabotage for a country already suffering from countless challenges. The equal inclusion and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of the society are crucial to addressing the current multifaceted crisis, and achieving sustainable peace and development in Afghanistan.
By persistently implementing repressive policies, the Taliban have demonstrated that they are neither interested nor able to take responsibility for improving the lives of the people of Afghanistan. Time and experience has shown they will not change or reverse their ideology of oppression towards women’s rights. We therefore request the international community to adopt a new approach to Afghanistan, which is aimed at the formation of a comprehensive, legitimate, and alternative political structure that reflects the rights, needs and desires of the people of Afghanistan. This will help ensure a truly inclusive future for all people in the country.
We also call on the international community to recognize the Taliban’s policies and restrictions on women and girls as amounting to gender apartheid, crimes against humanity and persecution. In light of this, we further urge the international community to grant the courageous and resilient women and girls of Afghanistan who are facing multiple threats on a daily basis, with international protection and eligibility for refugee status.
On International Women’s Day, we stand by the women and girls of Afghanistan and remain committed to protecting and promoting their rights.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08/03/2023

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