hrw shines light on taliban’s gender crimes against humanity
Last updated on September 20th, 2023 at 10:37 am
Since taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban have committed numerous human rights violations, particularly against the country’s women and girls. The authorities have imposed a number of restrictions through various written or announced decrees since August 2021.
While Afghan men have also been subject to serious violations of their rights, the situation has been particularly concerning for the women and girls. On September 8, Human Rights Watch concluded in a report many of these abuses amount to crimes against humanity of gender persecution.
Asking for “coordinated support by concerned governments”, Elizabeth Evenson, international justice director at HRW, said: “The Taliban’s cruel and methodical denial of the basic rights of women and girls to remove them from public life has received global attention.“
In Afghanistan, the crime against humanity of persecution based on gender has been manifested in various ways, including restrictions on employment, movement and dress, bans on education, and arbitrary arrests, HRW said in a report released Friday.
Gender Persecution In Afghanistan
The independent organisation’s research on Afghanistan since 2021 has found the Taliban authorities’ treatment of women and girls meets the four requirements for crimes against humanity as specified under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
1. The attack is directed against a “civilian population“
2. The attack is “widespread or systematic“
3. The acts are committed “with knowledge of the attack”
4. The acts are “pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organisational policy to commit such attack“
While Afghan men face a few restrictions on employment, the women are allowed to work in a very limited number of jobs. With respect to dress codes, the latter must cover themselves almost completely. But the men may draw punishments for not having a beard.
The Taliban authorities prohibit education for Afghan women and girls beyond sixth grade, consequently limiting the specific population’s opportunities for future employment. But men and boys aren’t subject to any such restrictions.
While men in the country face no restrictions on travel, women and teen girls aren’t allowed to travel over 72 to 78 km from their homes or on flights without a mahram. In practice, however, women found travelling without a mahram much closer to home have also been punished.