Afghanistan is the most repressive country for women in the wake of the Taliban takeover in 2021, after which it stripped women and girls of many of their fundamental human rights, the United Nations declared on Wednesday.
The U.N. mission in Afghanistan said in a statement released on International Women’s Day that the new Taliban leaders have “demonstrated an almost singular focus on imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes.”
“Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the most repressive country in the world regarding women’s rights, and it has been distressing to witness their methodical, deliberate, and systematic efforts to push Afghan women and girls out of the public sphere,” said Roza Otunbayeva, the special representative of the secretary-general and head of the U.N. mission.
Since taking power in August 2021, the new leaders have banned secondary and university education for girls and women, banned women from working in national and international nongovernmental organizations and have ordered women to be covered from head to toe. Women have also been largely restricted from traveling outside of their homes, and have been excluded from public decision-making, the U.N. noted.
Otunbayeva said that restricting women to their homes is “one of the world’s largest humanitarian and economic crises is a colossal act of national self-harm.”
“It will condemn not only women and girls, but all Afghans, to poverty and aid-dependency for generations to come. It will further isolate Afghanistan from its own citizens and from the rest of the world,” Otunbayeva said.
According to the International Labour Organization, female employment in Afghanistan was 25 percent lower in the final quarter of 2022 than during the final quarter of 2021, largely due to restrictions on where they can work and travel.
Taliban leaders have defended their restrictions on women’s education, saying that the bans were temporary because women were not following the dress code or they were studying subjects like engineering and agriculture.
The U.N. said these restrictions have caused severe aftereffects, including more suicides, child marriage, early childbearing, poverty-related losses and a higher risk of domestic violence and sexual exploitation among women.
The U.S. has placed visa restrictions on past and present members of the Taliban for their treatment of women, and many international nongovernmental organizations have ceased working in the country due to its repression of women.
Source : Thehill