Women excluded from key UN meeting on Afghanistan, HRW says

The venue of second Doha meeting on Afghanistan in Feb. 2024. File photo.

Human Rights Watch issued a sharp criticism on Friday, condemning the United Nations for excluding women from the upcoming Doha meeting on Afghanistan. The organization described the reports on the matter as “shocking.”

“With the Taliban’s repression of women and girls in Afghanistan tightening by the day, reports that the UN plans to hold a meeting including the Taliban but without women’s rights on the agenda or Afghan women in the room are shocking,” said Tirana Hassan, executive director at Human Rights Watch.

“Excluding women risks legitimizing the Taliban’s abuses and triggering irreparable harm to the UN’s credibility as an advocate for women’s rights and women’s meaningful participation,” Hassan added.

The United Nations will convene special envoys from around the world on June 30 and July 1, 2024, to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan at the third meeting of the “Doha Process,” which the Taliban has agreed to attend.

Despite the Taliban’s widespread abuses against women and girls in Afghanistan, which have created one of the world’s most serious women’s rights crises, the agenda reportedly contains no discussion of women’s rights, and no Afghan women have been invited to participate.

Human Rights Watch highlighted that this exclusion contravenes UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace, and security, which seeks to ensure women’s full participation in key international discussions.