Amnesty International urges recognition of ‘gender apartheid’

Amnesty International has called on the international community to recognize “gender apartheid under international law” to fully extend legal protections to women, girls, and LGBTQI individuals.

The organization explained that the concept of gender-based apartheid was first articulated by Afghan women human rights defenders and feminist allies in response to systematic attacks by the Taliban on the rights of women and girls. “It has become more widely used since the Taliban reclaimed control of Afghanistan in 2021,” Amnesty International noted in its report.

Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, expressed the organization’s support for these “courageous trailblazers,” including Afghan women. “Today we are joining the calls of courageous trailblazers, including women of Afghanistan, Iran, and beyond, who have led the way in demanding recognition of gender apartheid in international law,” Callamard said.

Women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban are facing oppressive restrictions, including bans on access to education and work. The United Nations reported that the Taliban has issued over 50 decrees that directly and indirectly affect the women and girls of Afghanistan.