UN human rights experts denounce that the Taliban are excluding women from public life

UN human rights experts denounce that the Taliban are excluding women from public life

Discrimination is doubled in the case of women belonging to cultural, linguistic or religious minorities, in the case of those belonging to the Hazara and Tajik ethnic groups or those who practice the Hindu creed, they denounced.

The Taliban leaders are institutionalizing systems of discrimination and large-scale violence against Afghan women and girls in order to “exclude them from public life,” thirty United Nations human rights experts denounced today in a statement.

These are “continuous and systematic measures to remove women from the social, economic and political sphere in the country,” the experts said in a statement.

The measures include a ban on many women returning to work or using public transport; the obligation for a male relative to accompany them in public places, or strict dress rules.

Especially worrying, they denounced in the statement, is the denial of the right of women and girls to secondary and higher education, under the argument that they should be separated from men.

As a result, most secondary schools remain closed after the Taliban takeover in August 2021, and large portions of adolescent girls (13-19 years old) are unable to continue studying, experts said.

Discrimination is doubled in the case of women belonging to cultural, linguistic or religious minorities, in the case of those belonging to the Hazara and Tajik ethnic groups or those who practice the Hindu creed, they denounced.

The experts warned about the growing risk for women and girls of falling into trafficking networks for arranged marriages, sexual exploitation and/or forced labor.

They also denounced physical attacks, threats and arbitrary arrests against women who have participated in peaceful protests to demand compliance with their fundamental rights.

Among the signatories of the statement are the UN rapporteurs for violence against women (Reem Alsalem), freedom of religion (Ahmed Shaheed), protection of minorities (Fernand de Varennes) and freedom of expression (Irene Khan), among others.

Melissa Galbraith
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