Failure to stand up for Afghan women strengthens gender apartheid, says Heather Barr

Heather Barr, associate women rights director at the Human Rights Watch (HRW), has said that the international community’s failure to stand for Afghan women and girls under the Taliban rule emboldens the “gender apartheid” everywhere.

She made the comment in response to a report quoting Iran’s deputy health minister saying that the recent serial poisoning in Iran was “intentional” and they had found that “some people wanted all schools, especially girls’ schools, to be closed.”

“If this is true it is yet another sign that the international community’s failure to respond urgently to the crisis women and girls face in Afghanistan under Taliban rule is emboldening proponents of #GenderApartheid everywhere,” Barr said in a tweet on Monday.

Iran shares a long border with Afghanistan on its eastern frontiers and has witnessed continued poisoning of girls at schools in its different provinces amid anti-government protests, often led by women rights activists, across the country.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban has effectively banned women and girls from going to schools, universities, and educational centres.

Plus, the group has also banned women from working for NGOs, going to amusement parks, and traveling without a mahram or male relative.