WLUML Statement: One year since the Taliban seized power, we condemn their violent rule and disregard for women’s rights
The 15th of August 2022, marks one year since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the second illegitimate takeover in the country’s history. In this past year, the world has witnessed that the Taliban remain unchanged. Reminiscent of their violent rule from 1996 to 2001 they continue to abide by a misogynistic understanding of Islam, particularly in their disregard for women’s rights. In the name of their Islamic doctrine, the Taliban have overturned much of the advancements made in Afghanistan in the last 20 years, especially for women and girls. Women have been prevented from assessing or have limited access to employment, education, political representation, and have lost their freedom of movement, including the right to leave their own homes unaccompanied by a male guardian. No other Muslim majority country, no matter how conservative their interpretation of Islam, has such draconian discriminatory rules that brutally regulate every aspect of women’s lives. The Taliban have abolished all national and provincial representative institutions and have continued to rule by force, rejecting democratic governance. They have shut down the Ministry of Women, replacing it with the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, granting it the power to harass citizens, particularly women. They have reinstated Sharia-based punishments including stoning, public flogging, and amputations. Ethnic and religious minorities are facing increased persecution and oppression.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws demands that:
- The international community, including neighbouring and Muslim countries of the region, strongly condemn all limitations on women’s and girls’ rights and call for their immediate access to education, freedom of movement, and access to public life.
- The international community uphold the principles of democracy, human rights and women’s equality and reject the Taliban’s claim to be recognised as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
- The UN renew the travel ban on the Taliban.
- The UN hold the Taliban responsible and accountable for the atrocities committed against women and minorities, and the egregious breach of their basic human rights.
- The UN and the international community support pro-democracy and women’s rights movements of Afghanistan.
- The international community insist that the Taliban remove all restrictions on freedom of expression, including a free media and expression of art in all its forms.
- The international community call upon the Taliban to allow vital humanitarian assistance into Afghanistan, particularly food and medicine.