Women of Afghanistan
Photo: UN

Women of Afghanistan Will Not Be Left Alone, Says UN Special Rapporteur

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, has said that women of Afghanistan will not be left alone amid increasing Taliban restrictions against women across the country.

He said this as the international annual campaign of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is underway in different countries.

“Perpetrators [of gender persecution] will be held accountable for their actions,” he warned, adding that gender persecution is a crime against humanity under international law.

The 16-day annual campaign was kicked off on November 25 and will continue until December 10, Human Rights Day.

When the campaign started on November 25, the United Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement that Afghanistan has one of the world’s highest levels of violence against women. “Ending the violence and restoring women and girls’ rights is crucial for any lasting peace,” the statement added.

Since the Taliban return to power in August 2021, women and girls have been denied most of their basic rights to education, movement, and work.

The group has removed most of the women from its government posts and banned girls above the 6th grade from going to secondary schools.

Reacting against the campaign and the UNAMA’s statement, the spokesperson for the Taliban Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed that democracies have the “highest rates of violence and rape” against women in the world.