Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan: Women’s Struggle for Dignity
As a transnational solidarity network WLUML has relaunched its campaign ‘Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan: Women’s Struggle for Dignity’ in support of the women
of Afghanistan, reverberating their voices and their demands.
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Support the campaign and send a message in support of women’s rights in Afghanistan.
1. Meaningful and substantial participation of engaged Afghan women representing diverse women’s interests must be ensured.
2. Women’s and citizens’ rights already enshrined in the current Afghanistan constitution , as well as laws protecting women’s rights (e.g. Elimination of Violence against Women Law) will not be negated, repealed or rendered unenforceable or unimplementable.
3. Women’s human rights – including the right to education, health, freedom of movement and employment, right to political participation, right to be free of gender-based violence, and the right to own and inherit property – must not be reversed.
4. The United Nations, including gender experts, must be involved on the ground to ensure adherence to international law.
5. Autonomy of and support for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) must be ensured.
6. Continuous and unequivocal government support for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) including adequate funding.
7. The continuous autonomy and freedom of civil society organizations, including women’s rights and feminist groups, must be ensured.
8. All citizens regardless of their gender, ethnicity and religion must be treated as equal before the law.
9. Unconditional release of all women activists, journalists and civil rights protesters.
10. The UN must provide immediate support and security for these activists and their families and assign a fact finding committee to investigate abductions and detentions.
11. We call for a comprehensive feminist approach to the crisis in Afghanistan.
WHY IS THIS CAMPAIGN NECESSARY?
The fall of the Taliban ended one of the 20th century’s cruellest regimes – one that deprived Afghan citizens, particularly women, of their basic human rights. Women and girls in Afghanistan have faced immense challenges posed by the Taliban’s ongoing attacks and assassinations. Yet at the same time, women’s rights and other movements in Afghanistan have in recent years grown an active presence in public and political life, and a number of women’s human rights are now included in the constitution and national laws.
The Taliban’s response has been the assassination of many women’s rights advocates, journalists, and female members of parliament, as well as attacks on schoolgirls and setting fire to girls’ schools. Their attacks have claimed tens of thousands of lives, physically handicapped and injured many more both physically and psychologically. The Taliban’s return to power will have severe and increasing consequences for women living both in Afghanistan, and in other Muslim contexts, as fundamentalists elsewhere may see this as a vindication of their regressive gender ideologies.
Now, with the Taliban once again in power, implementing their misogynistic gender ideology, Afghanistan faces an extremely difficult period in its history. Women are witnessing a return to gender apartheid policies with the rolling back of their hard-won rights, including access to education, word, and even the right to move and travel freely. Women in Afghanistan face economic hardship that threatens health and wellbeing of their families. Human rights activists and journalists’ lives are at risk as they face real and ever present threats.
In order to prevent deep erosions of women’s human rights in the name of ‘culture’ or ‘religion’, and to protect hard-won gains for gender justice, the women of Afghanistan continue to mobilise their expertise and knowledge, and are reconnecting with feminists in Muslim contexts across the glove to advocate for all Afghan women – determined that the future will include a democratic Afghanistan in which women’s equality is a living reality.
Collective action and amplification is fundamental to driving progress in women’s rights. Want to partner or support us in our No Peace Without Women’s Rights in Afghanistan campaign? Please email us at WLUML.email@example.com and our campaign team will be in touch.
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