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Statement of Solidarity: Afghan Women and Girls Deserve Protection of Human Rights

Tuesday 25 October 2022, by siawi3


Statement of Solidarity: Afghan Women and Girls Deserve Protection of Human Rights

October 2022

A day is not passed that the world is not witnessing yet another human rights violation of Afghan women and girls. From being forced out of public spaces to being denied education and work opportunities to being unable to leave their homes without male guardians accompanying them. The continuous reports of violence and bloodshed of women and girls, lack of access to education, and ethnic cleansing policies are making headlines, yet the world is silent.

The suicide bombing in Kaaj tuition center in the western part of the capital, which the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) noted in a tweet, is a Hazara and Shia-majority area, left more than 53 dead and more than 110 injured, the vast majority were young women. The district is predominantly a Shia area and home to the minority Hazara community, historically one of Afghanistan’s most severely persecuted groups. While historically, ethnic cleansing, slavery, and other acts of violence and discrimination excluded Hazara people from the government, economic opportunities, and social dynamics even before August 2021. However, according to a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett, the discrimination and abuse have continued more intentionally since August of 2021.

Female students resisted these atrocities and, for several days, protested in the streets of Kabul, compromising their safety and security to seek justice for the victims of the suicide bombing. While the UNAMA tweeted, “Our human rights team continues documenting the crime: verifying facts & establishing reliable data to counter denial & revisionism.” But the Afghan community is still awaiting justice to be served.

These acts of violence against girls’ rights to education and violence perpetuated against the Hazara ethnic minority were yet another page of the long history of violence and lack of safety and security for Afghan women and girls. Education is a fundamental human right and must be respected by all Afghans regardless of gender and ethnicity. The generations who were born and raised in the last twenty years face harsh realities and regressive policies that don’t have a place in the twenty-first century.

Women’s Intercultural Network, with twenty years of engagement in the empowerment and protection of Afghan women and girls’ human rights, is deeply concerned about the various forms of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan and holds the people in positions of power accountable.

We stand firmly on the side of Afghan women and girls and are committed to raising their voices and breaking the global silence. Afghan women and girls deserve their human rights, nothing more and nothing less.

Elahe Amani

Chair, Women’s Intercultural Network