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Women being ‘erased’ from public life by the Taliban: UN experts

According to media reports, UN human rights experts warned against the Taliban’s plans to ‘steadily erase women and girls from public life’. According to TOLO News, experts on Monday asserted that large-scale and systematic gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls have been ongoing in the country since the fall of the Taliban last August.

Together, these policies represent a collective punishment of women and girls, based on gender bias and harmful practices. The experts noted that women and girls are currently being systematically pushed out of public life in Afghanistan, including from institutions and mechanisms that were previously set up to assist and protect those who were most vulnerable.

The experts contend that women and girls are being excluded from public life in Afghanistan. The human rights experts expressed their concern about the systematic and continuous exclusion of women from the social, economic, and political spheres in the country. They also expressed concerns about the risk of exploitation of women and girls, including trafficking for the purpose of child and forced marriage, sexual exploitation, and forced labour.

Exclusionary policies include barring women from returning to their jobs, requiring male relatives to accompany them in public spaces, prohibiting them from using public transportation on their own, and denying secondary and tertiary education to girls. In addition to severely restricting women’s freedom of movement, expression, and association, and participation in public affairs, these policies have also challenged their ability to work and make a living, further pushing them into poverty, the experts warned.

According to the experts, women, children, minorities and female-headed households have been most affected by the humanitarian crisis in the country. While the Taliban-led government denies imposing any type of restrictions on women, it maintains that women continue to work in government departments. The Taliban deputy spokesman Ahmadullah Wasiq told TOLO News on Monday that women are not restricted. They are working in government departments. The plan to include women in the formation of the new government is under discussion.


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