UN special rapporteur decries ‘terrible’ restrictions on women, girls in Afghanistan

Richard Bennett, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Afghanistan, has expressed deep concern over “terrible” restrictions imposed by the Taliban on women and girls in Afghanistan.

In an interview with Amu TV, Bennet has emphasized that no country would recognize Afghanistan under Taliban rule if women continue to face discrimination.

He said that the Taliban has imposed dozens of decrees, severely limiting the rights of women and girls across the country.

“De facto authorities implemented more than 60 edicts, restricting the rights of women and girls. It is bad for the future of Afghanistan. It is terrible for the women and girls themselves. But it is also bad economically for the future of Afghanistan and they (edicts) affect the lives and the dignity and mental health of half the population that is devastated and it must be reversed,” Bennet said.

The UN Special Rapporteur also criticized the restrictions on education, employment, and women’s mobility imposed by the Taliban, calling them “unacceptable.”

He stressed that no country would accept an Afghanistan where women are discriminated against and entirely excluded from public life, adding that these restrictions violate international law, which Afghanistan has also ratified.

“This is something that I have spoken about many times before. No country in the world accepts Afghanistan [where] women are completely discriminated against and erased from public life. The restrictions on education, employment, freedom of movement, any participation in public life including freedom of expression are unacceptable and it is in violation international laws, and Afghanistan has signed up to,” he added.  

Meanwhile, some Afghan women in Germany have initiated a hunger strike to protest against the Taliban’s gender “apartheid” policies.

They have urged the international community to officially recognize the “gender apartheid” occurring by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

UN experts, including Richard Bennett, had previously stated that the systematic violations of human rights and women’s rights in Afghanistan by the Taliban could amount to gender apartheid.