Statement by Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Robert Biedroń and Chair of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan Petras Auštrevičius.
“The Taliban regime in Afghanistan is reversing the progress made in the last twenty years and life in the country is becoming a misery. Half of its population – Afghan women and girls – have become victims of gender apartheid. We call once again for all gender-based restrictions on women to be lifted so that they can pursue their education, actively participate in the labour market and public life in Afghanistan. The necessary measures must be taken to combat violence against women and girls, including forced marriage and intimate partner violence, and to hold perpetrators accountable without delay; the nationwide support system for victims must be reopened.
The European Union and the rest of the world cannot accept this situation and remain silent. The UN framework needs to be used to find a solution and to facilitate the transition from the Taliban totalitarian regime towards a balanced situation that involves women and minorities in the decision-making process.
Aid to Afghanistan must continue to restore and ensure the rights of women and girls. For the sake of Afghans and for future generations, we must not allow the Taliban to further isolate the country.”
Since taking power in August 2021, the Taliban have imposed a long list of rules and policies that comprehensively prevent women and girls from exercising their fundamental rights, including to expression, movement, work, and education.
In January, Musal Nabizada, a young former politician, was shot dead in her home. She had served as a Member of Afghanistan’s democratic institutions and worked for NGOs that are against the increasing restrictions on Afghan women’s rights and freedoms. In December last year, the Taliban banned women from universities, further limiting their education after already excluding girls from secondary schools last March. On 24 December, Afghan women were banned from working for NGOs, bringing the delivery of many essential services and aid to a halt.